- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: Broadway Books; 1 edition (February 13, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0767920775
- ISBN-13: 978-0767920773
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1 x 7.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 23 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,573,152 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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When You Catch an Adjective, Kill It: The Parts of Speech, for Better And/Or Worse 1st Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
Yagoda (The Sound on the Page) isn't trying to reinvent the style guide, just offering his personal tour of some of the English language's idiosyncrasies. Using the parts of speech as signposts, he charts an amiable path between those critics for whom any alterations to established grammar are hateful and those who believe whatever people use in speech is by default acceptable. Where many writing instructors rail against the use of adverbs, for example, he points out that they can be quite useful for conveying subtle relationships ordinary verbs can't describe. Some of this territory is familiar—Yagoda even boils down the debate over "hopefully" to outline form—but every chapter has gems tucked inside, like the section in pronouns on the "third-person athletic," the voice celebrity ballplayers use to refer to themselves in interviews. And he's definitely in love with his one-liners, such as the quip that the only acceptable use of "really" is "in imitations of Katharine Hepburn, Ed Sullivan and Elmer Fudd." Readers won't toss their copies of Strunk & White off the shelf, but Yagoda's witty grammar will rest comfortably next to the masters. (Feb. 13)
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Advance praise for If You Catch an Adjective, Kill It:
“Absolutely required—and utterly fun—reading for anyone who cares about the work-in-progress that is the English language. Marvelous in every way.” —Christopher Buckley
“All hail to Ben Yagoda! Not only has he publicly rescued mother from the ubiquitous debasement of mom, and consigned shall to the schoolmarm’s dead-rules inferno, but—ebulliently—he dresses Fowler, his eminent usage-predecessor, in relaxed American shoes. Yagoda’s invigorating interrogation of our language will excite every syntax-obsessed reader and writer. (And there are more of us than you might think.)”
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But really folks, the book is a lot of fun and very entertaining; although, I still don't know what a 'pluperfect subjunctive' is. If I would have known, beforehand, what it was, I may have gotten the opening joke in the 'Verb' chapter.
By the way, he didn't mention it, but I believe (at least here in Arkansas) that 'all y'all' is the plural of 'y'all.'
I could go on and on.
Enjoyed it very much. Thanks.