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Grammar Snobs Are Great Big Meanies: A Guide to Language for Fun and Spite Paperback – March 28, 2006
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Top Customer Reviews
I don't think she ever intended the book to be viewed as the 'gold standard' on the subject, and she often quotes from the accepted authorities, so that people who want to learn even more about the subject know where they can look.
There definitely are better guidebooks on the topic. This book is not organized in a way that makes it easy to flip through, to find quick answers to common questions. But it has merit as a casual approach to an admittedly stiff subject. You could call it "grammar for people who don't suck all the air out of a room." What a novel idea.
The only good strategy for fighting the grammar snobs is to know more than they do. Unfortunately, June Casagrande is not equipped for this. The book is rife with errors. These can be as basic as problems identifying parts of speech. Her discussion of the infinitive is completely botched, her discussion of the subjunctive comes across as an explanation by someone who barely understands the subject, and so on.
There are problems with even understanding what the issues are. Casagrande makes no distinction between questions of grammar and questions of style. Style manuals exist to bring consistency to a publication's look. It is completely arbitrary whether we write "the 1980s" or "the 1980's" but a publication looks better if it picks one and sticks with it. But this doesn't imply that one version is right and another wrong in any general sense. So if someone criticizes your choice, the correct response is not that even the "experts" disagree. It is that there are various legitimate styles to choose from.
On questions that really are of grammar, and not merely style, Casagrande completely abandons the good fight. There are innumerable issues where the grammar snobs make questionable assertions. For example, the claim that "which" cannot be used as the relative pronoun in a restrictive clause. This rule was a flat-out invention that got adopted in American style manuals, gradually infiltrating its way into the collective consciousness as a rule of grammar. This is complete nonsense.Read more ›
Grammar Snobs Are Great Big Meanies: A Guide to Language for Fun and Spite, although marginally funny in places, is primarily a direct attack on people who use grammar correctly and hold the rest of us accountable to do the same, specifically Truss and other named grammarians. The author, June Casagrande, strove to arm her readers with ammunition to repel snide remarks from grammar snobs; those people who are constantly correcting or looking down their noses at others who use incorrect grammar. Although the title of the book should have given me a clue (duh!), I did not want or need that kind of ammunition.
For the most part, I did not find this book helpful. There was almost an "anything goes" attitude toward grammar or what one can "get away with" when dealing with a grammar snob. I much prefer knowing what is and is not correct and when there is a choice or the rules are silent, what is the preferable usage. I came away from reading this book unenlightened.
Perhaps all of this makes me a grammar snob or a grammar-snob wannabe, but then so be it. As Lynne Truss wrote, "Sticklers unite!"
I stand with her.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I got this book as a recommendation from my writing and rhetoric professor. This book is hilarious. There are those out there that have pet peeves of others speaking improperly. Read morePublished 16 days ago by PilotX
This is a quick and easy read through some of the more problematic grammar topics and a humorous reminder that some rules more like strong suggestions than dictates of the... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Owen Porterfield
Enjoyed it! Love a snarky sense of humor! Will read it again, and reference the book when I need clarity.Published 3 months ago by Kara Zone
I work in legal publications. And if you work in legal publications (or any type of publications for that matter), grammar is important. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Linda L. Kruschke
I found this book to be both a fun and informative read. June displays some interesting humorous analogies. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Eleanor F.J. Gamarsh
Well, I was born knowing how to spell, punctuate, construct sentences, and so on, but I like this book because it validates who I think I am. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Susabella
I am a grammar snob, so this book is a perfect addition to my work library. Quick read with humor added in- great approach to grammar and writing.Published 17 months ago by Jill B
If you need this, you are like me and have let slip away what you learned in school....if you ever did learn it........so this is a clever way to revisit. Read morePublished 18 months ago by R. Brockman