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The Grouchy Grammarian: A How-not-to Guide to the 47 Most Common Mistakes in English Made by Journalists, Broadcasters and Others Who Should Know Better (Social Science) [Hardcover]

Thomas Parrish
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Product Description


“…this is a lighthearted but highly effective reminder for anyone looking to avoid the pitfalls of the English language…”(Good Book Guide, June 2003)

From the Inside Flap

Writing with flair, passion, and no small amount of wit, Thomas Parrish offers an entertaining, opinionated take on the parlous state of the English language in this unique how–not–to guide. His persnickety, hilarious fictional friend "the Grouchy Grammarian" examines forty–seven of the most common grammatical mistakes in English, using examples of errors found in major newspapers, magazines, and TV broadcasting. No one is safe from the Grammarian’s vigilant monitoring of the English language. From the New York Times to the New Yorker to network sports broadcasters, the Grammarian records various gaffes, careless errors, and basic grammatical mistakes made by those who should know better. In forty–seven brief, highly readable chapters, he explains elements of grammar, usage, and good writing that many of our foremost journalists–and the rest of us–occasionally seem to forget. The Grammarian entreats us to truly think about what we are trying to say before we say it. "Pay attention to what your words mean and where they came from," he says, "and if you don’t know, look it up." Many professionals could have benefited from this advice–and he unashamedly points out their minor mistakes and egregious errors that, with a little thought, might have been avoided. Much more than a straightforward manual on perfect English, The Grouchy Grammarian is a lighthearted guide for those who honor and love language and for anyone looking to avoid the pitfalls of ungrammatical writing.

From the Back Cover

Do you commit apostrophe atrocities? Are you tormented by the lie/lay conundrum? Do you find yourself stuck between floaters and danglers? Do your subjects and your verbs refuse to agree? If so, you’re not alone. Some of the most prominent professionals in TV broadcasting and at major newspapers and magazines–people who really should know better–are guilty of making all–too–common grammatical errors. In this delightfully amusing, clever guide, Thomas Parrish points out real–life grammar gaffes from top–notch publications such as the New York Times and the New Yorker to illustrate just how widespread these errors are. With red pen in hand, Parrish’s fictional friend the Grouchy Grammarian leads the charge, examining the forty–seven most common mistakes in English and imparting the basics of good grammar with a charming mixture of fussiness and common sense. All of which makes The Grouchy Grammarian the most entertaining, accessible how–not–to guide you’ll ever read.

About the Author

A longtime editor of books and magazines, THOMAS PARRISH is the author of a number of highly respected contemporary histories, including Roosevelt and Marshall: Partners in Politics and War; Berlin in the Balance, 1945–1949; and The Cold War Encyclopedia. He also created and edited The Simon and Schuster Encyclopedia of World War II. Parrish lives in Berea, Kentucky.
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