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The Elements of F*cking Style: A Helpful Parody

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  195 ratings  ·  28 reviews
The truth about English is that it can get pretty boring. Dangling modifiers, gerunds, punctuation marks--it’s enough to make you want to drop out of high school. Swearing and sex on the other hand, well, these time-honored pastimes warm the cockles of our hearts. Now, The Elements of F*cking Style drags English grammar out of the ivory tower and into the gutter, injecting ...more
Paperback, 96 pages
Published July 5th 2011 by St. Martin's Griffin
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It makes me sad to state the obvious, but based on a few reviews/comments I've read in places, I'll say it anyway: If you're easily offended, don't read this. The title should be a big clue. Hell, even not-so-easily offended people may find some of the examples a little surprising.

From the beginning, readers are warned about references to sex and drugs. That's not a gimmick, folks, because by god this book is crammed with explicit sentences. I read most of this during lunch in the employee break
The only reason The Elements of F*cking Style gets two/five instead of one/five is that the premise – a modern-day update of Strunk & White, using relevant, humorous examples and taking technological updates into consideration – receives full marks. The execution, however, receives very low marks.

First of all, the humor is, well, nonexistent. I don’t object to vulgar humor at all – my objection is to vulgarity that isn’t funny. There really wasn’t a single example in the book that made me la
Sep 05, 2011 Brent rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: humor
I've created a humor shelf for this book. This book is a funny substitute for the most bought but unread guide to English grammar. As the authors guessed, I bought a copy of the book they're mocking in college and never read it. But I read this book in about an hour at a Barnes and Noble in Ann Arbor. Baker is crude and distasteful, but he gets the job done. Now that I'm back in school and will be writing research papers again, one thing is for sure: It was a good idea to read this book.

Koen Crolla
This is what happens when two man-children decide it would be hilarious to juxtapose a serious, ``brainy'' topic with naughty words and belligerent anti-intellectualism, but neither actually has the brains or the attention span to pull off the serious part.
The result is a pamphlet ever shorter than Strunk & White itself, in which the authors, more than just being misogynist and racist and all the other things usually associated with fratire (an overly generous term for a genre that tends to
A parody of, not a replacement for, the original. (I thought the subtitle gave it away.) It's a one-trick pony, but an entertaining one.
Very vulgar, but absolutely hilarious! It's the first grammmar/style book that I've read cover to cover!
So at the beginning, I was going to give this book 5 stars. It's funny, (mostly) grammatically correct...I take argument with a few of their examples, but I am willing to let them go due to common usage flexibility.

About twenty to thirty pages in, I realized that the misogyny of the text isn't merely a gimmick, but is inherent to the writing styles of the authors. The constant degradation of women, intellectuals, drug-users, sex workers, etc., really put me off. The text ends up reading like urb
Daniel Gardina
If you’ve ever attempted to read Strunk & White’s classic grammatical guide THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE, you’d know its helpfulness is only surpassed by its dryness. In 1918, Cornell University professor William Strunk Jr. published a “forty-three page summary of the case for cleanliness, accuracy, and brevity in the use of English.” Nearly forty years later, Strunk’s former student EB White revised the guide and added a chapter on writing, which gave birth to the little reference manual known sim ...more
Jill Pickle
C'mon. You know you want to give this to the grammar-nazi in your life. Or even better, the grammar resistor you know: what better way to get to know English grammar than through dirty, foulmouthed examples?
Alexey Sidorenko
the book is quite short and can be used only as a supplement to the original. I laughed a lot, though ;)
Jason W. Miller
I really wanted to like this book but the example sentences were so absolutely vulgar I could not get through it. The premise of this book is brilliant and had they toned it down just a little bit I think it would have been an excellent book. I am not easily offended but there are limits to everything. Some of the example sentences in this book made me want to throw up. Way too much.
Chris Lovin
I wish I would have had this in High School.
Wow, what did I just read?
This is like the Strunk & White for real people. Nasty, filled with swearing and dirty words, but completely accessible and understandable.
Thanks to this "Elements," I can move from a weak sentence to a strong one. Of course, I have to remember some weird drug/sex example to do so, but the point is I *can* remember their example!
Ashley Holstrom
The vulgarity in this handy dandy grammar and style guide makes me feel like an idiot for mistakes I frequently make. It's sort of like they're punishing readers with language so we don't fuck up as much. Well, writers, it worked. Thanks for that.
Matt Eisenman
As a high school English teacher, I wish I could use this edition in class. The students may pay attention. I may send it to them in college...
Kristen Kolb
This book is as good as it gets. Short, hilarious and informative, you must pick it up if grammar means anything to you.
Professor Heide
A more entertaining and up-to-date version of the Strunk and White classic, "Elements of Style." Always an important resource.
I LOVED this book. It's a totally geek fest of grammar, but fun because it's completely inappropriate at the same time.
Hannah Grace
Surprisingly helpful, highly amusing, and probably the one thing keeping me sane as I write footnotes for my thesis.
Jun 10, 2014 Whitney rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People who love grammar and style
Shelves: nonfiction
Very clever! A parody, but an accurate and instructive one.
Richard Mulholland
This was great fun to read, but also very informative. It's going to be required reading for my staff.
Brad Phillips
Great primer/polisher with a tone that'll keep you laughing and keep your grammar refined!
Carolyn Elmore
A hilarious take on a classic grammar reference book. I love grammar books!
Kristina Leonard
One thing I learned---"Pronouns are a real bitch." LOL....
Feb 10, 2013 Beau rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: comedy
Good idea, but the execution is belabored.
The swearing gets old quickly...
This is great!
Robin marked it as to-read
Jan 27, 2015
Paul W.
Paul W. marked it as to-read
Jan 27, 2015
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“A summary is usually going to be expressed in a single paragraph, so you’ll want to keep it confined to a single tense—usually present. If you find yourself switching between tenses in your summary paragraph, walk away from the keyboard, pour a stiff drink, and then return. It’s doubtful the alcohol will help with your grammar but it will make you feel a little better about your failure to follow this important rule.” 0 likes
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