Tuesday, August 31, 2010

New books appeal to anal grammarians

Do you cringe at a sign that says "their" when it should be "they're," or when a restaurant menu informs that the roast beef sandwich is served "with au jus"?
Do you die a little inside every time you see a misused apostrophe?
For you, dear readers, I recommend "The Great Typo Hunt: Two Friends Changing the World, One Correction at a Time" (Harmony; $23.99).
In 2008, authors Jeff Deck and Benjamin D. Herson began traveling the country, tracking down egregious typos in public places and doing their best to fix them. Sometimes, this meant quietly scratching an unneeded apostrophe off a wall. Or it required our heroes to convince owners of a grammatically-challenged sign to fix their errors.
Admit it, you've thought about doing this yourself. With this book, you can live vicariously.
And if you love language, you'll also enjoy Roy Peter Clark's new "The Glamour of Grammar: A Guide to the Magic and Mystery of Practical English" (Little, Brown; $19.99). Clark, a senior scholar at the Poynter Institute, is a master writing coach.
His instructive chapter headings alone will entice you. Among them: "Honor the smallest distinctions--even between a and the," "Switch tenses, but only for strategic reasons," "Politely ignore the language crotchets of others."


Anonymous said...

Poor gramar and speling are a sign of low inteligense.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous: whale sed. i think anal grammarians is a pretty cool guy. eh noes when to use there, their, and they're and doesn't afrayd of anything.