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.