An easy-to-follow guide for all of your grammar needs.
With clear text, appealing cartoons, and a focus on common grammatical errors and how to correct them, this little volume is a real gem that should find a permanent place with companies, universities, and anyone seeking a user-friendly guide to style and usage.
This is a good, solid guide to basic grammar by two women who claim to be "nutty enough to have liked diagramming in school." Their book is clear. It is not boring. It even compares punctuation marks to traffic signals (a period is a stop sign, a comma a flashing yellow light). But its crowning glory is the nearly 30 cartoons--from
The Far Side, and others--on the subject of grammar that are sure to delight anyone who is nutty enough to have liked diagramming in school. In our favorite, Hobbes tries to persuade Calvin that a pronoun is "a noun that lost its amateur status." Calvin, after pondering for a moment, writes it down. "Maybe I can get a point for originality," he says.
Fine and Josephson teach "Nitty-Gritty" Grammar for the San Diego State University extension program and have written many books, including FileADon''t Pile! (St. Martin''s, 1994). Their new book is a clever and fun way to review or learn the rules of grammar. Included are all of the hokey rhymes and sayings learned in grammar school, e.g., "Use i before e except after c, or when sounded like a as in neighbor or weigh." Each page has an example sentence illustrating a common mistake and a reference to the rule that explains it, and jokes and comics are used throughout to keep things light. Now there''s finally hope that some readers may learn how to diagram a sentence. This is a useful book at a good price and fun besides. Recommended for all public libraries.ALisa J. Cihlar, Monroe P.L., WI
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Grammar, like love, is a perpetual mystery, and books on how to do either better are eternal. In NITTY-GRITTY GRAMMAR, Edith H. Fine and Judith P. Josephson attack the homonyms and dangling modifiers that? which? frequently plague even native speakers, and even delve into the fine points of diagramming. -
As “The Grammar Patrol,” EDITH H. FINE and JUDITH P. JOSEPHSON have fielded grammar questions on radio shows nationwide. Besides writing how-to books for adults, including
Nitty-Gritty Grammar and
More Nitty-Gritty Grammar, the authors have written award-winning biographies, science books, and picture books for children. They teach grammar and writing through San Diego State University’s extension program, and live in Encinitas, California, with their families.
Judith Pinkerton Josephson is also the author of many books for children, including
Mother Jones: Fierce Fighter for Workers’ Rights, Allan Pinkerton: The Original Private Eye, and
Growing up in Pioneer America. She is the co-author of
Armando and the Blue Tarp School.
Grammar? You’re kidding, right?”
We had been teaching writing workshops at San Diego State for several years when the Director of Extension Programs at the College of Extended Studies asked us to build a grammar review class. Her request baffled us. Who would come? What would keep people from nodding off? Would we need a brass band to liven up our six-hour workshop?
Then again, we
are both nutty enough to have
liked diagramming in school. As teachers, we’ve touted grammar and explained it to young children, teenagers, and adults. As writers, we constantly edit and proofread, ever on the lookout for grammar gaffes—scrutinizing manuscripts, menus, billboards, articles, and ads. We even offer a grammar service, called Goof-Proofers! Slam dunk! The class was a go.
First came a nonthreatening, practical title:
Second, we needed razzle-dazzle. Given that grammar is a
very serious business, we naturally thought of cartoons. Knowing that a good belly laugh is worth twenty furrowed brows, we culled our vast collection to find great grammar cartoons. We knew that most people hadn’t thought about grammar since high school; we’d ease them in with humor.
Third, we honed in on the basics—the structure beneath our often perplexing English language. Our first students helped guide us, with questions such as “What’s a subject?” “Agreement?” “Aren’t prepositions those three-letter words?” “How
do you spell ‘potato’?”
Over the years, we’ve taught a wonderfully eclectic mix of people—sales reps, parents, students, medical workers, lawyers, engineers, secretaries, retirees, teachers, social workers, human resource managers, reporters, people new to English, and many others. We always promise students two A’s if they remember to spell “grammar” with two a’s!
Class participants cite similar complaints—“My boss redlines my work!” “I never learned grammar in the first place,” “Grammar’s my downfall,” “I listen to newscasters’ mistakes, and then wonder about the rules!”
Before we knew it, friends, relatives, and students were sending us grammar pet peeves, puzzlers, and gems for our Blooper Patrol Handbook. This became the Ticker Tape that runs through this book at the bottom of the page.
Nitty Gritty Grammar: A
Not-So-Serious Guide to Clear Communication is for people who want to speak and write well and who can’t afford to have errors tarnish their image. This feet-on-the-ground guide is designed in short “sound bites”—perfect for reading while on a coffee break, stirring the stew, or waiting in the doctor’s office. In just minutes a day, you can review grammar basics, spot common errors, and brush up on your skills.
We’ve designed this book to be funny, unintimidating, and clear. Popular cartoons illustrate key points. Look for the right way, the wrong way, and the “why” to help you conquer grammar pitfalls.
As you plunge into this refresher, remember our maxim: Basically, between you and I—whoops!—grammar is fun!
—Edith H. Fine and Judith P. Josephson Encinitas, California