Author: O'Conner, Patricia T.
Brand: Riverhead Books
Number Of Pages: 320
Details: Product Description A revised and updated edition of the iconic grammar guide for the 21st century. In this expanded and updated edition of Woe Is I, former editor at The New York Times Book Review Patricia T. O'Conner unties the knottiest grammar tangles with the same insight and humor that have charmed and enlightened readers of previous editions for years. With fresh insights into the rights, wrongs, and maybes of English grammar and usage, O'Conner offers in Woe Is I down-to-earth explanations and plain-English solutions to the language mysteries that bedevil all of us. "Books about English grammar and usage are... never content with the status quo," O'Conner writes. "That's because English is not a stay-put language. It's always changing--expanding here, shrinking there, trying on new things, casting off old ones... Time doesn't stand still and neither does language." In this fourth edition, O'Conner explains how the usage of an array of words has evolved. For example, the once-shunned "they," "them," and "their" for an unknown somebody is now acceptable. And the battle between "who" and "whom" has just about been won, O'Conner says (hint: It wasn't by "whom"). Then there's the use of "taller than me" in simple comparisons, instead of the ramrod-stiff "taller than I." "May" and "might," "use to" and "used to," abbreviations that use periods and those that don't, and the evolving definition of "unique" are all explained here by O'Conner. The result is an engaging, up-to-date and jargon-free guide to every reader's questions about grammar, style, and usage for the 21st century. Review “Lighthearted and funny . . . It’s like Strunk and White combined with S. J. Perelman—none of whom would have had the slightest objection.” — The New York Times Book Review “Possibly the most popular book on grammar ever published.” —Writers.com “Extraordinary . . . I’m keeping this book by my keyboard.” — The Philadelphia Inquirer “Invigorating and entertaining . . . As vital as a dictionary for those who wish to be taken seriously in speech, in print, or on Facebook.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review) “A nifty guidebook to modern grammar that affectionately elbows the reader on every page.” — San Francisco Chronicle About the Author Patricia T. O'Conner, a former editor at the New York Times Book Review, has written for many magazines and newspapers. She is the author of two other books on language and writing, Words Fail Me: What Everyone Who Writes Should Know About Writing and You Send Me: Getting It Right When You Write Online. Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. Chapter 1 ij Woe Is I Therapy for Pronoun Anxiety When a tiny word gives you a big headache, it's probably a pronoun. Pronouns are usually small (I, me, he, she, it), but they're among the biggest troublemakers in the language. If you've ever been picked on by the pronoun police, don't despair. You're in good company. Hundreds of years after the first Ophelia cried "Woe is me," only a pedant would argue that Shakespeare should have written "Woe is I" or "Woe is unto me." (Never mind that the rules of English grammar weren't even formalized in Shakespeare's day.) The point is that no one is exempt from having their pronouns second-guessed.Put simply, a pronoun is an understudy for a noun (a word for a person, place, or thing). He may stand in for "Ralph," she for "Alice," they for "the Kramdens," and it for "the stuffed piranha." Why do we need them? Take the following sentence: Ralph smuggled his stuffed piranha into the Kramdens' apartment, sneaked it out of his jacket, and was slipping it into his wife's curio cabinet, when suddenly Alice walked into their living room, clutched her heart, and screamed, "You get that out of my house!" If no one had invented pronouns, here's how that sentence would look: Ralph smuggled Ralph's stuffed piranha into the Kramdens' apartment, sneaked the stuffed piranha out of Ralph's jacket, and was
Release Date: 05-02-2019
Package Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.0 x 0.9 inches