The Good Grammar Guide

The Good Grammar Guide

The Good Grammar Guide

The Good Grammar Guide


Does grammar bother you? Does it first inspire boredom, then fear? Since the virtual removal of formal grammar teaching from our schools' standard curriculum forty years ago, such negative responses have increasingly characterised students and professionals alike. As this lively and user-friendly book sets out to prove, that is both unfortunate and unnecessary. Not only is grammar an enabling servant rather than a tyrannical set of absolute rules: it can also be fun.This light-hearted guide offers extensive coverage of Parts of Speech, Syntax, Inflection and Punctuation, along with a detailed look at common errors and misconceptions. Regular exercises are included, as is a baleful survey of Political Correct usage, whose desire to sanitize and control the way we speak is injurious to grammar, language itself and indeed the way we live now.The aim throughout this book is to reassure and entertain as well as instruct. This handy volume puts an amusing light on grammar, and as such it is guaranteed to banish boredom and fear.The Good Grammar Guide can also be read as a companion to one of Richard Palmer's other publications, Write in Style 2nd Edition, also published in Routledge's Study Guides series.


Why care for grammar so long as we are good?

Artemus Ward

Whoever you are, it is most unlikely that you will go through this or any other day without hearing someone - it may even be you - mention the word stress. The notion that all of us are under more or less constant pressure has come to dominate our culture; indeed, to hear some people talk you'd think we invented

… the heartache and the thousand natural shocks That flesh is heir to.

Not so, of course. Those words are spoken by perhaps the most stressedout character in all literature - Shakespeare's Hamlet - and they are a timeless reminder that 'the stresses and strains of modern living' have applied to every generation since Homo sapiens evolved.

Nevertheless, a case could still be made for stress as the defining word of our time. One consequence - or maybe index - of that is the profusion of surveys tabulating the most common causes of stress and/or their degree of severity. If my sampling of such items has been reliable, the two greatest would appear to be moving house and speaking in public. The latter topped a fairly recent poll addressing people's worst fears, weighing in at an impressive 40 per cent; dying could do no better than third place, which I find, in the legendary words of David Coleman, 'really quite remarkable'.

It would be idle to suggest that grammar competes with domestic transformation, speechifying or death as a cause of stress or fear, but try this simple game anyway. Take a piece of paper and at the top of it write the word


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