Thursday, June 4, 2015


Oh, how good grammar, and a comma, make all the difference! People who love grammar are always on the hunt, pouncing on errors and then correcting them. Grammar, however, is not just for aficionados but for everyone. Who has not written an email, a report or a letter to a friend and wondered if the punctuation and wording were correct? The Monrovia Public Library has excellent grammar books you can consult when in doubt, books that teach you the rules and titles that explore the joy of practicing great grammar. 

A surprise bestseller is Between You and Me by Mary Norris, the grammar and spelling expert at New Yorker magazine.  Part memoir (Ms. Norris’ first job out of college was checking feet at a Cleveland swimming pool and then moved on to checking the text of great writers) and part rumination on the importance of proper punctuation, this book is definitely for grammar geeks.

Eats, Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation is also a short and witty appreciation of excellent grammar. British author Lynne Truss shares the history of language and she prompts writers less with a carrot and more with a stick. In fact, you might say she’s a grammar crusader.

A variety of grammar and punctuation books address various needs. Adults learning English as a second language might like English Grammar for ESL Learners by Ed Swick and those in adult reading programs might want Basic English Grammar by Betty Azar.  The Only Grammar Book You’ll Ever Need by Susan Thurman will help college students become better writers.
And, for those of us in a constant state of confusion, The Big Ten of Grammar: Identifying and Fixing the 10 Most Frequent Grammatical Errors explains whether it is I or me, who or whom and lie or lay.

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