Adult Books



Read an Excerpt

My Grammar and I... Or Should That Be Me?
How to Speak and Write It Right

By J.A. Wines and Caroline Taggart , Caroline Taggart

Subject: Bestselling I Used to Know That Series
Hardcover | 176 pages | 5 3/8 x 8
US$14.95 | CAN$15.95
Publication Date: 2009-07-09
ISBN: 9781606520260
For anyone who has ever been stumped by apostrophes or the difference between they’re their, and there, here’s a practical, humorous guide on how to avoid language pitfalls. Gain confidence as a speaker and writer with this refresher course on:

  • Spelling and Confusables: Many of us confuse always and all ways, anyone and any one, everyday and every day. As a general rule, one word tends to be an adjective, while two words form the noun. Now you’ll be able to get it all right, alright?
  • Parts of Speech: Once you recall that possessive pronouns never— repeat never— need an apostrophe, you’ll know that it’s correct to say, “The dog is chewing on its bone, so it’s safe to walk by him. ”
  • Sentence Structure: Let us ponder the subject, or object, of “I” and “me. ” I = subject and me = object, which means I is the person doing the action and me is the person the verb is acting upon. I telephoned Jim (because I performed the action) and Jim rang me back (because Jim performed the action).
  • Punctuation: Take a deep breath, because you’re about to learn where a comma goes. Historically, the comma marks a short pause, a place where you might pause for breath after reading a fragment of text aloud. This old joke illustrates the point:
    “A college professor wrote on his blackboard: a woman without her man is nothing. He then asked his students to punctuate the sentence. All of the males in the class wrote: a woman, without her man, is nothing. All of the females in the class wrote: a woman: without her, man is nothing. ”
  • Elements of Style: Usually double negatives are wrong, such as “I didn’t do nothing right. ” But sometimes they’re permissible—indeed, useful—when they convey nuances of meaning. For example, “I can’t not come if you’re singing, ” might initially sound wrong. But it could mean, “I don’t want to come, but I’m obliged to if you are singing, ” or “I wouldn’t miss your singing for the world. ”


And, for those grammar know-it-alls, there are entertaining “Smart Aleck” trivia boxes, anecdotes, witticisms, and more. Clever and informative, this is the ideal gift for all English-language sticklers.

Make this and all of the Blackboard Books™ a permanent fixture on your eReader, and you’ll have instant access to searchable knowledge. Whether you need homework help or want to win that trivia game, this series is the trusted source for fun facts.

“My Grammar and I is the most thorough yet accessible guide to speaking and writing correctly that I’ve come across; deserving a spot on the shelf next to my battered, dog-eared, highlighted copy of Elements of Style. ” —Curious Villager (Blog)

Author:

J. A. Wines is a graduate of Oxford University and the author of several books on grammar and trivia.