robert francis

Helpful votes received on reviews: 70% (14 of 20)


Top Reviewer Ranking: 359,757 - Total Helpful Votes: 14 of 20
Gwynne's Grammar: The Ultimate Introduction to Gra&hellip by N.M. Gwynne
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Mr Gwynne must be at least 100 years old. I pity the generations of students who have had to suffer the self-congratulatory pomposity of this old bore. He doesn't seem to realize that language moves with the times, and his insistence on 'should' in the first persons singular and plural of the conditional is only one example among many of his antediluvian ideas. (The preponderant use of the contraction 'I'd, You'd, We'd in spoken English has led to a blurring of the distinction between 'would' and 'should in the formal, written language, so that 'would' has taken over because it is the majority case, by four persons to two. So what? This is evolution.) As an English teacher for the last… Read more
Spell It Out: The Singular Story of English Spelli&hellip by David Crystal
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
As a TEFL teacher in Portugal, I have always sympathized with students in their attempts to cope with the intricacies (or eccentricities) of English spelling. Here is a worthy attempt to throw light on a seemingly unfathomable aspect of the English language, a daunting task from which most of us would run a mile. This book is beautifully written, clear, concise and full of valuable nuggets of information. (I therefore disagree totally with the one-star reviewer.) Indeed, Prof. Crystal succeeds admirably in another daunting task, namely that of avoiding overly academic 'edubabble' while never once being guilty of condescension.

I have only one criticism and one 'niggle'. The… Read more
The Folly of French Kissing: A Novel by Carla McKay
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I concur with all the reviewers: five-, four- and one-star. This is indeed a gripping page-turner, well constructed and with convincing characters and an exciting if somewhat superficial plot. I know the setting well and this paints a convincing picture of southern France, with its beautiful scenery,the heat,the chauvinistic French and the deplorable British ex-pat communities that have so arrogantly taken it over.
But . . . whatever happened to sub-editors? Is it a sign of these austere times that they seem to have been dispensed with? Gibson Square Books please take note, because The Folly of French Kissing (appalling and misleading title) is riddled with typos: repetitions and… Read more