Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe's Guide to Better English in Plain English (3rd Edition)

Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe's Guide to Better English in Plain English (3rd Edition)

Patricia T. O'Conner

Language: English

Pages: 185

ISBN: 0399141960

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe's Guide to Better English in Plain English (3rd Edition)

Patricia T. O'Conner

Language: English

Pages: 185

ISBN: 0399141960

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


In this new edition of Woe Is I, Patricia T. O'Connerunties the knottiest grammar tangles and displays thesame lively humor that has charmed andenlightened grateful readers for years. With newchapters on spelling and punctuation, and freshinsights into the rights, wrongs, and maybes ofEnglish grammar and usage, Woe Is I offers down-to-earthexplanations and plain-English solutions to thelanguage mysteries that bedevil all of us:

  • Avoid the persistent (and persistently embarrassing)grammatical errors that bewilder the best andthe brightest[*]Pronounce and spell words that even the smartestpeople mangle[*]Correctly use hundreds of woefully abused wordsand phrases

Pen on Fire: A Busy Woman's Guide to Igniting the Writer Within

The Maeve Binchy Writers' Club

Argument in Composition

A Pocket Guide to Writing in History (8th Edition)

A Dash of Style: The Art and Mastery of Punctuation

The Artful Edit: On the Practice of Editing Yourself

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By the way, the form of the verb used here—be instead of was or were—is similar to the one used for a command: Be good! Be quiet! Be there or be square! NOTE: Was, were, and be give us the most trouble when we’re suggesting or demanding something. But other verbs must also be in the command form when they’re forced to give “command” performances: Mom demanded that Ricky change his clothes. We suggest that she get a job. He urged that Barbra negotiate. Grandma insisted he have fruitcake. Again,

another and end up with “a whole nother.” Ugh! Not that you or I would ever do such a thing, of course.) E.G./ I.E. Go ahead. Be pretentious in your writing and toss in an occasional e.g. or i.e. But don’t mix them up. Clumsy inaccuracy can spoil that air of authority you’re shooting for. E.g. is short for a Latin term, exempli gratia, that means “for example.” Kirk and Spock had much in common, e.g., their interest in astronomy and their concern for the ship and its crew. The more specific term

disconcerting, disconsolate , disheveled, dismayed, immaculate, impeccable, inadvertent, incapacitated, inclement, incognito, incommunicado , incorrigible, indefatigable, inevitable, indomitable, insipid, misnomer, mistake, nonchalant, noncommittal, nondescript , nonpareil, nonplussed, unassuming, unbeknownst, ungainly, and unwieldy. Some similar words without opposite versions may look like negatives, but they aren’t. Their negative-looking prefixes (im and in) emphasize or intensify

introduce a question within a longer sentence? The simplest way is to use a comma and start the question with a capital letter. The question was, How long should she wait for her luggage? The same is true if the question is a quotation: Introduce it with a comma. Tina cried, “What next?” But if the introduction is a complete sentence, especially if it’s a long one, a colon works better. The question she asked herself was this: How long should she wait for her luggage? • What comes after a

ex-husband. • With in-law. Fred’s my brother-in-law. • With great. There goes my great-aunt. DON’T USE A HYPHEN• With step. His stepson Charlie is a doctor. • With half. Bob’s half brother is a thug. • With grand. She can’t be a grandmother! A MULTITALENTED MARK: THE APOSTROPHE (’) That little airborne mark that dangles over some words (including last names like O’Conner) is called an apostrophe. This is the punctuation mark that has many sign painters mystified. Store awnings and

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