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Grammar Girl's 101 Troublesome Words You'll Master in No Time (Quick & Dirty Tips) Paperback – July 3, 2012


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mignon Fogarty, the creator of Grammar Girl and the founder of the Quick and Dirty Tips Network, is also the author of the New York Times bestselling GRAMMAR GIRL'S QUICK AND DIRTY TIPS FOR BETTER WRITING and THE GRAMMAR DEVOTIONAL.  Her straightforward, bite-sized tips on grammar have led to features in the New York Times, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, and an appearance on Oprah. She lives in Reno, Nevada.
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Product Details

  • Series: Quick & Dirty Tips
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1st edition (July 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312573472
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312573478
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.4 x 7.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #441,846 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mignon Fogarty is the creator of Grammar Girl and founder of the Quick and Dirty Tips Network. A technical writer and entrepreneur, she has served as an editor and producer at a number of health and science Web sites. She has a B.A. in English from the University of Washington in Seattle and an M.S. in biology from Stanford University. She lives in Reno, Nevada.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Literary Marie on July 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
As a copyeditor, I witness firsthand how the English language is always changing. Words and phrases take on new meanings over time. Definitions change; words are used interchangeably. The great rivalry between prescribers and describers continues.

I read all of Grammar Girl's tips and books. This new release is no exception and very much necessary in today's world. There are a total of 101 troublesome words that are tackled--most of which were not covered in previous Grammar Girl books. If you are unsure what words are acceptable to use in today's English language, this is a helpful guide. Grammar Girl did all of the research and makes great recommendations with example sentences. I did not agree with all of the choices, but can certainly appreciate a different point of view. 101 Troublesome Words You'll Master In No Time is complete with cute related drawings and quick and dirty tips to accompany the words and phrases.

Some of the troublesome words featured are:

African American (difference between African American and Black)
Couldn't Care Less (as opposed to "could care less")
E-mail versus Email
I'd've (contraction for "I would have")
Lay versus Lie
Momentarily (mistakenly used to mean "in a moment")
Noisome (nothing to do with noise but to describe smells)
Out Loud (as opposed to "aloud")
Peruse (incorrectly used to mean "browse")
Than I versus Than Me
Utilize (when in doubt, choose "use")
Whet (not "wet") your appetite

Be sure to add this great resource to your personal collection. It is offered at a great price of $5.99 for the paperback and eBook editions. Also visit [...] and subscribe to Grammar Girl's podcast. It is one of my faves and I'm sure other language lovers will enjoy it.

Literary Marie of Precision Reviews
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Andy Shuping on July 3, 2012
Format: Paperback
ARC provided by NetGalley

Mignon Fogarty, aka Grammar Girl, is back again helping the writers around the world with the English language. In this short book she tackles 101 of the most troublesome words in the English language and when to use them correctly. For example are you feeling "alright" or "all right"? When is the right time to use the phrase "African American" and does it need to have a hyphen in it? These are some of the words that Mignon tackles with clear definitions, fun quotations, and examples of which word to use when. There are also amusing little illustrations throughout the book to raise the reader's interest--such as on the flaunt page an aardvark in a disco suit. While the work is subjective (these are Mignon's opinions) it's nice to have a handy guide from an expert to refer to. For those folks that struggle with grammar (like me) or writers just looking for some assistance with word choice, I recommend picking up this book and giving it a read. 5 out of 5 stars
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By shelfishness on July 8, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book may have one of the longest titles I've seen in a long time, but Grammar Girl has done it again with 101 Troublesome Words You'll Master in No Time! While I am an English teacher and this might just be my inner nerd speaking, I love how easy this book makes it to learn proper grammar - perfect for my classroom and my own personal knowledge.
With words that are commonly confused and easily misused, this guide by Mignon Fogarty is ideal for everyone who wants to effectively communicate their message and sound intelligent and appropriate. With entries for words ranging from 'alright/all right' to 'have got' and 'I'd've' to 'myriad', this covers all the basics and many more. Each entry provides the etymology (word origin) of the specific phrase and gives a brief history of how it has evolved over time and come into favor (or fallen from grace) and is broken down easily into the categories "What's the Trouble?" and "What Should You Do?". Furthermore, each word is used in a quote from a contemporary film, t.v. show, or article in order to show the best and most appropriate use. This book goes into great detail on appropriate usage of a wide variety of words including 'whom', 'smokey', and 'plethora' as well as a number of phrases that are tricky as well. Explaining the appropriate past tense of shine would be a challenging task for most writers, but Fogarty is so engaging that it becomes a truly enjoyable read - by the way, both shined and shone work equally well as past tense forms of shine.
While I highly recommend this book, it is truly only appropriate for speakers of American English as there are a number of colloquialisms, idioms, and spelling differences that would not make sense for natives of other English speaking nations such as Canada or England.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. Hardee on July 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
Even in high school AP English I struggled with the convolutions of the English language. It's a means of expression that seems to be far more intuitive than logical, and modern usage is often frowned upon by the linguistic elite. Between regional dialects and variations between social classes, a person must strive tirelessly to express oneself in a manner that will attract the least amount of criticism. 101 Troublesome Words You'll Master In No Time is a book that makes grammar accessible and far more easy to assimilate than any other book on the subject I've cared to read. I enjoyed that this guide didn't wax loquacious regarding word etiology and used the story of origin to explain why a word or phrase is the way it is rather than as page filler. Though it isn't laugh out loud funny, it evokes enough chuckles and moments of dawning revelation to keep things interesting. Give this as a gift to any student or budding author, or to someone who persists in using the grossly erroneous expression "I could care less."
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