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The Elements of F*cking Style: A Helpful Parody Paperback – July 5, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (July 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031258377X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312583774
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 4.6 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,957 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“To be sure, this is not a book for readers who might have an aversion to foul language or references to drugs and sex. Its 96 pages are replete with hilarious references, but don’t let that discourage you—Chris Baker and Jacob Hansen have ensured that naughty words serve the noble purpose of promoting good grammar.”

The Weekly Standard

About the Author

Grammar nerds Chris Baker and Jacob Hansen are the cofounders of The F*cking Word of the Day.


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Customer Reviews

Then I saw this book at the local bookstore, read the first 5 pages, bought it, and finished it that day.
Matchstick
If you are (or have) a high schooler who needs to learn this stuff, this isn't a bad way to do it, but it's not funny enough on its own to earn a buy.
Christian J. Ternus
It is very helpful in that you can't help but remember the 'examples' because they are so not what you're used to reading!
Lisa Buie-Collard

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Matchstick on September 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
Being a writing enthusiast, I purchased the original Elements of Style nearly 5 years ago. I never made it past the first 5 pages. It literally bored me to sleep every time I tried reading it. Needless to say, I gave up on optimizing my sentence structure and grammar and Strunk & White's work has sat on my bookshelf collecting dust for the last 5 years.

Then I saw this book at the local bookstore, read the first 5 pages, bought it, and finished it that day. Absolutely hilarious; both intensely clever and witty while still providing the much needed knowledge in an easy to digest format. Then I figured since I had both versions, why not have some fun and do a little comparing to see how much Baker and Hansen snipped out from the original? After all, this version was much thinner. So I went through and compared the topics of each book side by side. Lo and behold, Baker & Hansen stayed true to Strunk & White's version on EVERY POINT. They simply reworded each topic's explanation to a wittier version which usually included drugs, sex and lots of cursing. The things they omitted were issues that I realized weren't as applicable to modern day language anymore. Yet the fundamental rules they discussed remained unchanged.

Now here's where things get really interesting:

In the side by side comparison of both books, I found myself reading through and highlighting Strunk & White's original. In the course of an hour, I had literally read & highlighted Strunk & White's book cover to cover. A book that had been sitting on my shelf for 5 years because I couldn't bring myself to get through 5 pages was suddenly devoured and fully understood in an hour.

So here's my two cents: The humor of this book is awesome.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Brian T. Murphy on July 6, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'd bet the house that this is the funniest and easiest book on grammar in print. It is VERY raunchy; most of the examples refer to either graphic sex or drug use. But, it is an awesome read for someone that writes for a living and wants to spruce up their style and grammar while also experiencing some degree of enjoyment.

Think "Jackass" meets grammar and you'll get the picture. I simply can't find anything wrong with it.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Mari on December 23, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I bought this book as a gift for my nephew, who was about to go to college. Thankfully, I read it before giving it to him.

We're pretty loose with the obscenities in my family and I've even advised him on the type of housing to get based on where he would rather take home a girl. Despite how "open" we can be, I will not be giving him this book.

Grammar books need to give examples. The book is based upon giving examples that the reader will remember. However, almost every example given in this book is either about getting high (even advising you on the best way to roll a joint) or demeaning women. There were a few other types of examples, but they mostly involved getting drunk or run-ins with cops. I read dozens of the examples and every single one that mentioned women described them as a sex object, such as a whore or a slut. For example, "Her tits drooped much more than they had prior to childbirth, and as I regrettably discovered, her vagina looked like a collapsed termite mound." Here's another gem: "A hooker can make a good impression by concealing her bruises and covering up her tits."

While I could have missed one, it was not until page 31 of 86 that I saw anything resembling criticism of male genitalia, "His penis is misshapen and uncircumcised."

This book is disgustingly sexist. When it's not demeaning and glorifying women as sex objects, it's championing illegal and irresponsible behavior. If you're looking for a book that promotes douchebaggery, this it is.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By 5x5 on February 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
I studied journalism in college so I'm a bit of a grammar nerd (yes, I'm one of those people who will only text in complete sentences.) 4 years post college, I bought this book on a whim and was pleasantly surprised with how great it is.

Not only does it cover the very basics such as active vs passive voice, agreement between nouns and verbs, and paragraph construction, but it also has more advanced topics like when to use a dash vs a semicolon.

It's also pretty damn hilarious.

Highly recommended for any high school and college student who needs a little help in the grammar department or any one who just wants an amusing book to improve their writing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By KC South Park on April 29, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As an editor known to swear a blue streak, I was really looking forward to this book. I liked the concept of turning an old classic into "a helpful parody." Unfortunately, the humor was more misogynistic than I could look beyond. Drug jokes...OK. Sexual jokes...fine. But the male/female examples were far from even-handed. My guess is that Mr. Baker and Mr. Hansen met in a fraternity or something.

Considering the number of female editors and writers out there (all four editors on our technical editing staff are female), these guys really blew it for this potential audience.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gandalfe on March 21, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Our managing editor suggested this as the team style guide. Now you will never forget the rules. Very fun and useful too. Just don't leave the book laying about. I'm just sayin'...
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