THE GRAMMAR BIBLE: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Grammar but Didn't Know Whom to Ask

Michael Strumpf, Author, Auriel Douglas, Author
Michael Strumpf, Author, Auriel Douglas, Author . Holt/Owl $18 (512p) ISBN 978-0-8050-7560-1
Paperback - 597 pages - 978-1-891968-00-6
Prebound-Glued - 489 pages - 978-1-4177-2345-4
Open Ebook - 512 pages - 978-1-4668-0066-3
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Strumpf has been fielding calls on the National Grammar Hot Line for more than 25 years, telling callers how to make their subjects agree with their verbs and tell the difference between "who" and "whom." Thus many of the examples in this thick but highly readable grammar handbook come from questions—sometimes rather charming ones—posed by callers. With the help of editor and writer Douglas, Strumpf guides the grammar-challenged reader through the parts of speech, then demonstrates how to dissect sentences, from the simplest to the most complex. His clear-cut guidelines offer some flexibility: he grants permission to end sentences with prepositions and to use the passive voice. On other points, however, like the ban on split infinitives, the rules remain intractable. Fellow grammarians will find much to argue with, from Strumpf's insistence on the interchangeability of "that" and "which" to the use of abbreviations in print. It's easy to sympathize with the idea that network broadcasters should be required to observe the rules of good grammar, but some of his pet peeves, such as overused adjectives and vulgar interjections, seem just, well, peevish. Though it will almost certainly be overshadowed by the buzz-carrying Eats, Shoots & Leaves, Strumpf's handbook does convey the basics of grammar well enough to be of great use to any casual writer. (July 15)

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