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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

3.7  ·  Rating Details ·  155 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
Do you commit apostrophe atrocities?

Are you tormented by the lie/lay conundrum?

Do you find yourself stuck between floaters and danglers?

Do your subjects and your verbs refuse to agree?

If so, you're not alone. Some of the most prominent professionals in TV broadcasting and at major newspapers and magazines-people who really should know better-are guilty of making all-to
...more
ebook, 192 pages
Published November 11th 2002 by Wiley (first published 2002)
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(showing 1-30)
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Theacrob
Mar 08, 2017 Theacrob rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent refresher on some common (and not-so-common) grammar issues. Most of the information is still relevant, which is key with language and usage texts. This book has particularly strong sections on subject-verb agreement (which I learned is called "concord"), the use of "of," and when to use to vs. when to use which.

Two topics I thought could have benefitted from more examples and analysis are the sections on who/whom and irony.

I am left to wonder though whether this grouch is a real per
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Michael Bedford
My mom gave me this slim "How-Not-To" guide written by Thomas Parrish about his fictional(?) interactions with a character he calls "The Grouchy Grammarian." The little book covers the 47 most common, according to Parrish and his grouchy friend, mistakes relating to grammar and usage. The book is hardly a thrill a minute, but it's a good starter guide for anyone looking to beef up their literary skills.

Reading this book made me realize how abysmal my own command of grammar and usage is, especial
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Angie
Jul 11, 2009 Angie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009, reference
I wish books like these had quizzes on the first few pages, so one can just flip to the sections that illustrate what they're having problems with. I liked how this pointed out the *mistakes* because I would often read one and go, "What's wrong with that?"

On page 44, there is an error. No, really, there is. The book has thus far been consistent in italicizing the words or phrases that have been used in the incorrect manner, and yet, in the second-to-last paragraph, the word "dye" is not italiciz
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KHimmel
Apr 17, 2016 KHimmel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book turned me into a monster; I liked that.

I was already your typical lay grammar nazi. Now, I look up grammar nazi on google images, see corrections like 'your, you're' or 'there, they're, their,' and think to myself, 'that's cute.' This book made my blood pressure go much higher than it needed to be every time I read teen fiction. I'll cite an example I cited in a previous review. In Veronica Roth's 'Divergent,' there's this one sentence that seared itself into my pretentious little mind
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Algernon
May 05, 2015 Algernon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: writing
At one point, author Thomas Parrish's persnickety friend, the grammar hawk referred to in the title, likens a well-constructed sentence to an automobile engine. Others may prefer Parrish's own analogy of a well-furnished room. Automobile engines suggest a highly specialized knowledge, something intimidating for those without vocational training. Pretty much anybody can set up a room that looks nice, however, and enjoy the results. A well-furnished room is a room that has everything one might nee ...more
Anne Calvert
Although I did learn from 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 by Thomas Parrish, I feel it could have been written in a way that I could learn more. I actually walk away wondering if I give myself too much credit in the intelligence department. I was confused at times. Of course it just may be me and the way I learn, but it seemed many of the examples were not spelled out clear e ...more
Cassie
Jan 02, 2013 Cassie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found myself agreeing with the grouch on many points while reading this book. I majored in journalism, worked as a copy editor for the school’s newspaper and now work in editing, and, over the years, I’ve encountered many of these errors on a daily basis. Subject-verb agreement is an issue that I see pop up often, and it bothers me almost as much as it seems to bother the grouch. A few points in the book were new to me (or I’ve forgotten them since my journalism days), so I felt like I learned ...more
Jennifer
Jan 25, 2014 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: English teachers and those who love the English language
Shelves: grammer
This book is a kick! It's been on my reading table for some time, but I recently discovered again and finally took the time time to read it. It's short, fun, entertaining (at times, I laughed outloud) and provides the reader with live examples of the 'grammer gone wrong' as identified by "The Grouchy Grammerian!"

Tim Kubiak, this would make great reading for you some day! Because you are writer who loves to break any rules of grammer, you would have a great time rebutting everyo one of these exam
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Grey
Apr 28, 2007 Grey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book inspired me to start my own little collection of notes as a mini reference aid.

It is not exactly for folks starting out to learn English, but for those who have lost their way down the line.
Seriously, people need to know about using apostrophes properly, the difference between "Ironically" and "Coincidentally", and stuff like Lie-Lay-Lain vs Lay-Laid-Laid.

I only regret is that this book doesn't tell people that it's "different from", NOT "different than". I hate people who use the sec
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Alida
Jul 09, 2012 Alida rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, library
It's confirmed; I'm a geek.

I could figure out most of the errors mentioned but am sure I will still make them on a regular basis. Some of the mistakes cited were rather obscure, I thought. This book would be good to read on a regular basis if one was a serious amateur writer, although it is not as readable as a similar book, Eats, Shoots and Leaves.
Martin
Feb 12, 2013 Martin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this as part of my ongoing research to hone my skills for a book I'm editing. Tangentially, it will improve my writing as well. The Grouch is particularly precise, and very demanding. He is far more persnickety than most other grammar sites and books that I've read. It all serves his overarching point, though, which is: think! A good lesson I've taken to heart. What shall I read next?
Christense Jiang
Feb 06, 2011 Christense Jiang rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
This book scratched an unreachable itch. I found it very validating. I'm glad to know that other people are bothered by the same inaccuracies that I am. It was nice to find out that I'm not just being picky, there is a grammatical/stylistic basis for my gripes. However, I also learned a lot from this book. I think I'll be referencing it again and again, I'm glad for the index in the back.
Lily
Dec 03, 2013 Lily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a student admiring the grouchy, I've enjoyed this book. It is witty enough to read to end and especially helpful for me to clarify some grammar things for a long time. (eg. 'of' has neutral meaning and comparing function. as likely popular as vs. more likely popular than)
James
Feb 29, 2008 James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All writers
Useful and often quite funny. This is a nice reference for writers, and now has a place on my shelf along with other necessary tools like the dictionary, thesaurus, and various style manuals. Read it, you'll like it.
Amy Pilkington
I was hoping to enjoy this book more, as I was told it was funny. Unfortunately, while it started well, I found that it often spent too much time giving example after example until I forgot the original point. All of the grammar notes in it are good to know, but it was a bit of a trial to finish.
Heather
Mar 24, 2008 Heather rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who liked Eats, Shoots and Leaves or Sin and Syntax
It wasn't bad - I learned a few things that I haven't read before! I felt that some of the negative examples were tiresome, as was the imaginary conversation with the grouch. I get the schtick, but it grew old rather quickly.
Steve Spicer
Apr 04, 2008 Steve Spicer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book takes a humurous approach to troubleshooting the most common mistakes made in writing. even though the boook is a list of dos and don'ts, it doesn't feel preachy. It also uses real word examples to highlight clearly what each common mistake is and how to correct it.
Keren
Sep 10, 2007 Keren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great grammar resource that rivals "Eats, Shoots and Leaves."
Genine Franklin-Clark

I'm a Grouchy Grammarian myself, so love this book, and agree with everything in it. Resounding "Yes!" frequently heard in my home as I read this.
Missy Kirtley
I hate reading books about grammar and writing, unless they've got an interesting spin. This book was interesting, and entertaining.
Linda
Nov 03, 2009 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Linda by: started 11-3-09 (interlibrary loan)
Very particular. Sometimes I didn't understand the point the author was trying to make. I guess I need that.
Elise
May 10, 2015 Elise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Harish Puvvula
Handy but too pedantic.Wry humour.
Marshaferz
Funny and useful - the reference to the Grammarian gets a little annoying, but the examples are very helpful.
Sharon Anne Beers
Feb 17, 2016 Sharon Anne Beers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Entertaining, humorous review of mistakes in grammar.
Hannah
Aug 21, 2014 Hannah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found that this book taught me about the problems people make using grammar. I personally think there were points that I realized I was doing wrong, and things I already had the basic idea.
Donna
Dec 29, 2012 Donna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: educational
Can totally commiserate
Claire
Claire rated it it was ok
Jan 13, 2012
Marte McCalla
Marte McCalla rated it it was amazing
May 04, 2015
Haley Anders
Haley Anders rated it liked it
Dec 25, 2016
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Goodreads Librari...: please add book cover to paperback edition 3 14 Jan 27, 2015 06:54PM  
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