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I Used to Know That: English by [Scrivenor, Patrick]
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I Used to Know That: English Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Length: 193 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled Page Flip: Enabled

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Product description

Review

Review of the bestselling "I Used To Know That": 'a jolly useful old school primer dressed up in postmodern clothes... Everyone will want to dip into this' --Tribune, 6 June 08

A fun and witty collection of snippets of information we 'used to know' from school.' --Essentials, July 2008

This is a fascinating book... it will no doubt be a great source of entertainment around many a dinner table during the festive season' --She, December 08"

About the Author

Patrick Scrivenor was brought up in Africa and England and, after studying at Oxford University, served in the army. He has since worked as a journalist and writer. He lives in Kent.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2979 KB
  • Print Length: 193 pages
  • Publisher: Michael O' Mara Books (14 Mar. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007K8WR7O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #120,697 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
As a barrister words and language are the tools of my trade; as a traveller I have tried to master several languages. So I judge this excellent book as a student or a consumer not as a teacher. How I wish that my many language teachers had tools as efficient and enjoyable as Patrick Scrivenor's book at their disposal. How I wish that they had a fraction of the ability with language and skill at teaching it as Scrivenor shows here in this book. It is easy to read and understand, full of wise lessons for anyone who wants to use English well, and it is immensely entertaining. It should be required reading for any student or speaker of English and, in particular, for any teacher of the language. Had English been this clear and this much fun at school I would have remembered.
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Format: Hardcover
The more some variety of Standard English becomes an international lingua franca, the more important it is to arrest what is often seen as its 'decay'. Best-selling books such as Lynne Truss's 'zero tolerance' approach to punctuation, 'Eats, Shoots and Leaves', have tried to establish the idea that correct usage of punctuation is not a matter of pedantry but often determines the entire meaning of what is being said. Now Patrick Scrivenor has done the same thing for English grammar and usage as a whole, and in a way that makes me quite bitter that I was never taught so clearly and enjoyably at school. His book contains six main sections dealing in turn with Parts of Speech, Grammar, Spelling and Pronunciation, Punctuation, Clear Usage and Pitfalls/Confusions. All of these are admirably clear and succinct, illustrated briefly and entertainingly with a variety of quotations from sources as diverse as Mark Twain, Bill Bryson, Nigel Molesworth and P.G. Wodehouse. The opening of the section on Pronunciation gives the flavour: 'If you have struggled with Latin declensions, French genders or German irregular verbs, now is the moment of your revenge. The spelling and pronunciation of English words are without any vestige of method or even common sense. English contains more words spelt in the same way but spoken differently than any other language.'

English as a medium of communication is now also subject to severe pressure from the technology in which it is expressed. Many blogs on the internet are so misspelt and illiterate that it is often completely impossible to extract any meaning from them at all.
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Format: Hardcover
Just had to return a kindle book for the very first time, as this book suffers from terrible formatting.

Firstly as a reference book you would expect a reasonable table of contents so you can jump to topics, well there are literally just a few very general links which don't link to specific topics.

Secondly many of the tables quoting examples are truncated to the right so you cannot read the examples whilst the kindle (I have a Kindle 3) is in portrait mode, you have to switch to landscape and back again - very poor.

Thirdly Mr Scrivenor obviously knows his subject well but he takes great delight, when describing very simple terms such as 'nouns' or 'verbs', in throwing in loads of advanced stuff which frankly just bloats and confuses the defininitions. I was hoping to brush up on some basic English Grammar but really had to wade through a lot of unknown concepts even when reading the easy straightforward stuff. This book may be more suitable for somebody who did know grammar very well and needs a refresher rather than somebody wishing to learn some basic principles well.

Maybe I will give the other English Grammar book a go as one reviewer has suggested.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was written - better: cut-and-pasted with a few changes here and there to cover the tracks - with no other purpose than to line Ms Taggart's and Mr Scrivenor's pockets. (Somehow I have the nagging feeling that Patrick Scrivenor is just Ms Taggart hiding behind a pseudonym; or is that just my irk at being conned out of my lolly?). Had Ms Taggart added a few pages to "My Grammar and I" this book would have been of a complete superfluity. But to be asked to fork out 10 quid for more of the same is not 'nice'.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I would recommend My Grammar and I by Caroline McTaggart over this. Bizarrely enough, when expanding the popular I Used To Know That: Stuff You Forgot From School, she decided to go with this guide by Patrick Scrivener. Some sceptics think that they are the same person but having read both, they certainly appear different in terms of style if not content. The content will always be roughly the same for a book like this anyway.

The formatting of this book isn't great on Kindle... the spacing, the font, the layout. I think the headings and subheadings are made particularly unclear as a result of this.

The author also keeps interjecting 'dad jokes' by way of puns and one liners, along with references to old-fashioned things that anyone under a certain age will not be overly familiar with. Perhaps this was a deliberate effort as the book is supposed to be aimed at people whose school days are a long-forgotten memory but I feel that the generalised multi-subject book by Caroline McTaggart managed to do this in a less annoying way (I have yet to see any older reviewers call her style confusing or annoying anyway).

For the basics, stick with the multi-subject book I Used To Know That...

For a more detailed but easily accessible and humorous guide to English, try My Grammar and I.
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