Monday, December 27, 2010

The Big Ten of Grammar

By William B. Bradshaw, PhD

From the back of the book:

“Have you ever hesitated when choosing between I or me? Have you had trouble figuring out tricky pronouns like who or whom? What about those always-troublesome commas – do they go before or after the quotation marks? If you’re anything like the rest of us, you struggle with these age-old grammatical issues.”

Enter William Bradshaw, a college English instructor, to help sort out these issues for you.

This book has the subtitle “Identifying and Fixing the Ten Most Frequent Grammatical Errors” and that’s exactly what it does. The main part of the book is divided into 10 chapters, each one focusing on one of those tricky grammatical errors. Plus, there is a bonus section in the back that offers some time-saving references to make it even easier for you to use this book.

Graham begins by telling the reader “this book is not meant to be a complete guide for English grammar.” It definitely focuses on what he feels are the top 10 errors found in writing.

I wish Graham had added some quizzes or writing prompts to the end of the chapters to give the reader an opportunity to practice the lessons. That would have moved this from “4 books” to “5 books” in my eyes.

The one thing this book definitely does, though, is add to your already stuffed reference shelf. And it should because – in my opinion – all writers need a comprehensive collection of reference material on the subject of English and writing.

I have lots of books and yes, I do refer to them often.

For example, I have several good dictionaries because there are times when I need to find a word and the definition may not be complete in one or another of them. I also have a wonderful thesaurus to accompany those dictionaries.

Then, I have style manuals, books about writing from a variety of authors. Also, you will find books about different genres and books that focus on grammar skills. That’s where “The Big Ten of Grammar” will now have a place.

This is an excellent guide and if you’re struggling with grammar issues, you should consider adding it to your shelf, as well. You’ll be glad you did.

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