The Grouchy Grammarian : A How-not-to Guide to the 47 Most Common Mistakes in English Made by Journalists, Broadcasters and Others Who Should Know Better

Author(s): Thomas Parrish


An entertaining guide to the most common errors in English In this engaging, opinionated take on the parlous state of the English language, Thomas Parrish's fictional friend "The Grouchy Grammarian" examines forty-seven of the most common mistakes in English from apostrophe atrocities to the lie/lay conundrum. Using examples of errors found in major newspapers, magazines, and TV broadcasts, the Grammarian explains basic elements of grammar and good writing that many of our foremost journalists (and the rest of us) occasionally forget. With red pencil in hand, he's compiled a surprising list of gaffes, careless errors, and grammatical mistakes to prove his point.Above all, he cautions readers to think about what words mean and to think about what they are trying to say. Persnickety, hilarious, and always right, The Grouchy Grammarian is a lighthearted guide for anyone looking to avoid the pitfalls of ungrammatical writing. Contents: The Grouch and I. The Topics. 1. Think! 2. Agreement; or, Where Did the Subject Go? 3. Special Kinds of Subjects. 4. A Bit More about Each. 5. There-the Introducer. 6. Former Greats. 7. Just Because They Sound Alike. 8. The Reason Isn't Because. 9. May and Might: Did They or Didn't They? 10. As of Yet. 11. Floaters and Danglers. 12. A.M./Morning, P.M./Afternoon, Evening. 13. Would Have vs. Had. 14. Apostrophe Atrocities. 15. It's a Contraction-Really. 16. Whom Cares? 17. Whiches, Who's, and That's. 18. Where's the Irony? 19. The Intrusive Of. 20. Preposition Propositions. 21. But Won't You Miss Me? 22. Well, Better, Best, Most. 23. Between Who and What?: Prepositions with More Than One Object. 24. Other ... or Else. 25. Lie, Lay. 26. A Case of Lead Poisoning. 27. Silly Tautologies. 28. False Series. 29. French Misses. 30. None Is, None Are? 31. Drug Is a Drag. It Must Have Snuck In. 32. And/Or. 33. Overworked and Undereffective. 34. Quantities, Numbers. 35. Watering What You're Writing: The Alleged Criminal and the Alleged Crime. 36. Only But Not Lonely. 37. Pairs-Some Trickier Than Others. 38. Between vs. Among. 39. Those Good Old Sayings. 40. Fuzz. 41. As ...Than. 42. Not Appropriate. 43. Sorry, You've Already Used That One. 44. From Classical Tongues. 45. Like, Like. 46. Just the Facts, Ma'am. 47. Lost Causes? The Grouch Reflects. Afterword. Using This Book. Thanks. From the Grouch's Shelves-A Bibliography. Index. First published October 2002.


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"...this is a lighthearted but highly effective reminder for anyone looking to avoid the pitfalls of the English language..." (Good Book Guide, June 2003)

A longtime editor of books and magazines, THOMAS PARRISH is the author of a number of highly respected contemporary histories, including Roosevelt and Marshall: Partners in Politics and War; Berlin in the Balance, 1945-1949; and The Cold War Encyclopedia. He also created and edited The Simon and Schuster Encyclopedia of World War II. Parrish lives in Berea, Kentucky.

The Grouch and I.The Topics.1. Think!2. Agreement; or, Where Did the Subject Go?3. Special Kinds of Subjects.4. A Bit More about Each.5. There-the Introducer.6. Former Greats.7. Just Because They Sound Alike.8. The Reason Isn't Because.9. May and Might: Did They or Didn't They?10. As of Yet.11. Floaters and Danglers.12. A.M./Morning, P.M./Afternoon, Evening.13. Would Have vs. Had.14. Apostrophe Atrocities.15. It's a Contraction-Really.16. Whom Cares?17. Whiches, Who's, and That's.18. Where's the Irony?19. The Intrusive Of.20. Preposition Propositions.21. But Won't You Miss Me?22. Well, Better, Best, Most.23. Between Who and What?: Prepositions with More Than One Object.24. Other ... or Else.25. Lie, Lay.26. A Case of Lead Poisoning.27. Silly Tautologies.28. False Series.29. French Misses.30. None Is, None Are?31. Drug Is a Drag. It Must Have Snuck In.32. And/Or.33. Overworked and Undereffective.34. Quantities, Numbers.35. Watering What You're Writing: The Alleged Criminal and the Alleged Crime.36. Only But Not Lonely.37. Pairs-Some Trickier Than Others.38. Between vs. Among.39. Those Good Old Sayings.40. Fuzz.41. As ...Than.42. Not Appropriate.43. Sorry, You've Already Used That One.44. From Classical Tongues.45. Like, Like.46. Just the Facts, Ma'am.47. Lost Causes?The Grouch Reflects.Afterword.Using This Book.Thanks.From the Grouch's Shelves-A Bibliography.Index.

General Fields

  • : 9780471223832
  • : wiley
  • : wiley
  • : October 2002
  • : 225mm X 143mm X 20mm
  • : United States
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Thomas Parrish
  • : Hardback
  • : 428.2
  • : 192