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Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing (Quick and Dirty Tips)

4.23  ·  Rating Details ·  1,576 Ratings  ·  179 Reviews

Online sensation Grammar Girl makes grammar fun and easy in this New York Times bestseller

Are you stumped by split infinitives? Terrified of using “who†when a “whom†is called for? Do you avoid the words “affect†and “effect†altogether?

Grammar Girl is here to help!

Mignon Fogarty, a.k.a. Grammar Girl, is determined to wipe out bad grammar—but she’s

Paperback, 240 pages
Published July 8th 2008 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published January 1st 2008)
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Jul 09, 2008 Lauren rated it it was amazing
You've heard her podcast. You've seen her on Oprah. You've downloaded her audiobook. Now you can add the first printed book from Mignon Fogarty (a.k.a. Grammar Girl) to your reference shelf. To the delight of word nerds everywhere, Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing came out yesterday.

Grammar Girl herself offered me an advance copy for review, which I thoroughly enjoyed reading and highly recommend to both grammar novices and experts alike. As the introduction says, the book
Mar 27, 2012 Kara rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, business
My life would be less frustrating if everyone read this book.

I can be a little (annoyingly) pedantic when it comes to grammar and usage. I'm not concerned about dangling prepositions or split infinitives, but my god, it gets to me when people misuse "affect" and "effect," comma splice, or think that "e.g." and "i.e." are interchangeable. And don't even get me started on "your" and "you're."

Although I expected this to be kind of dry, I found myself laughing out loud. I thought I would know everyt
Aug 20, 2011 Felonious rated it it was amazing
Shelves: self-help
This is the first time I have been intimidated writing a book review. One would think that if I read the book this review would be 100% grammatically correct, that just isn't going to happen (I suffer from grammar allergies). Whenever someone starts talking or I start reading about adjectives, adverbs, conjunctions, and modifiers all I hear is what sounds to me like Charlie Brown's teacher (wah wah wah). I found myself having to reread paragraphs to get some of the information sink in (phrasal v ...more
Jul 10, 2010 Al rated it it was amazing
A 5-star post for a book on grammar, surely I jest. No, I’m totally serious. Everyone who has to write anything – emails for work or just to friends, blog posts, even a review on Goodreads – should want their writing understood. Good grammar makes your intent clearer and gives the boss the right impression. We could all stand a periodic checkup to see if we’ve picked up any bad habits or maybe never learned something in the first place.

Most of us don’t bother because “this stuff is boring.” Tha
William Arsenis
Sep 27, 2012 William Arsenis rated it it was amazing
I never understood grammar. I just felt my way through a sentence, playing it over in my mind, using some sort of intuitive editor that managed to get it right most of the time.

But when I started writing and my real editor brought out her digital red pen, I was completely lost. She used phrases such as "predicate adjectives" and I wouldn't have a clue what she was talking about. So I'd just have to concede to her advice or lose face and admit I didn't understand a thing she was saying.

I've tried
Mar 10, 2012 Kara rated it liked it
A more accurate title would probably be "Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Grammar". There weren't a whole lot of actual writing tips, with the exception of a short chapter near the end with advice like "avoid cliches like the plague".

The grammar instruction was a mix of things I already knew (its vs. it's, affect vs. effect) and things I'd never thought about (the difference between e.g. and i.e., the difference between "hanged" and "hung"). So roughly half the time I felt smug an
Beverly Diehl
Apr 21, 2012 Beverly Diehl rated it it was amazing
I think for most people, reading a grammar book is right up there on their to-do list with having a colonoscopy - Do I HAVE to?

Or maybe that's just my own association, since I kept my own book in the bathroom and read it in bits and pieces. (It does lend itself well to that.)

Fogarty not only offers the grammar rules, but clear and "sticky" examples that should help anyone but the most boneheaded imprint these rules and guidelines into her brain. Her own writing style in this is light, witty, and
Jul 22, 2008 Susan added it
I just orderd this on my Kindle. Effect/Affect are tigers I wrestle with daily. Grrr.
I'm finally learning the rules of a/an. I was sick that day in 4th grade. Seriously, I specifically remember coming back to school and finding out they had learned the rules of a/an. I've felt a little behind ever since.
A motorcycle. An MBA. A ukelele. An ugly duckling. I believe I've been using them correctly, I just didn't know WHY.
Una Tiers
Jan 17, 2017 Una Tiers rated it it was ok
While this book is highly recommended, I could not get past the sugary over self confidence of the author. Smug might be a better word.
Sep 14, 2016 Stephen rated it really liked it
Not sure how you can make Grammar any more interesting than this. Lots of useful tips packed into one place along with helpful ways to remember the rules/usage. It feels a bit like a compilation of the podcast, but that isn't really a bad thing as the podcast is excellent.
Mar 16, 2009 Serenity rated it it was amazing
Mignon Fogarty uses humor and useful grammar tips in helping the average person learn basic grammar skills that they may have forgotten or never known because their teacher failed to teach it to them in an effective way.

My grammar is questionable at times but I enjoy listening to Grammar Girl's podcast, reading her emails and even following her on twitter daily. I've been listening to her podcast for 2 years so when I read she was writing a book, I KNEW I had to have it in my hands.

Please foll
Feb 26, 2011 Moira rated it really liked it
This is light, funny and very helpful. It's not for those who want an in-depth explanation or hard and fast rules for everything, but if you want guidance for some of the knottier grammar and punctuation issues that writer's encounter, check it out!
Dec 22, 2013 Karen rated it liked it
A humorous take on proper grammar and ways in which one might employ mind tricks to remember basic rules and usage. More of a grammar primer than a style guide. I considered just giving it a star rating and skipping the review lest I showcase my less than stellar grammar usage.
Jan 21, 2013 Cora rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Buenas explicaciones y trucos para problemas con la gramática.
Un muy buen libro de referencia.
Blake Atwood
Oct 26, 2014 Blake Atwood rated it it was amazing
Shelves: on-writing
Straightforward and imminently helpful, Fogarty's guide to better grammar should be a mainstay in any writer or editor's library.
R. L. Snowe
Mar 30, 2015 R. L. Snowe rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015-reads, writing
This book was a quick, helpful read for aspiring writers. I enjoyed it thoroughly and went away with a lot of good advice and such.
808.042 FOG
CD 808.042 FOG (free email newsletter)

For professional writers:
The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr.
Garner's Modern American Usage Bryan A. Garner
Common Errors in English Usage by Paul Brians
Punctuate It Right! by Harry Shaw

Style guide books:
The Associated Press Stylebook (for newspapers or magazines)
MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (research papers, Liberal arts, humanities)
Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association or Ameri
Krista Ottinger
Sep 27, 2016 Krista Ottinger rated it it was amazing
For years I have frequented Grammar Girl's website when confronted with grammatical confusions of all shapes and sizes. Affect vs. Effect. Comma placement. Its vs. It's. That last one sends me over on a monthly basis.

There are a million different sites I could hit when I need a little clarification, but Grammar Girl consistently makes me smile, even whilst shining an embarrassing spotlight on my English inadequacies and my flat inability to keep the jargon straight. Split infinitives? Conjuncti
Ivonne Rovira
Aug 11, 2013 Ivonne Rovira rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: high-school students especially
This book rates as two stars or four, depending on who you are. If you're an expert English grammarian, Mignon Fogarty's Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing isn't for you; what you need is H.W. Fowler's A Dictionary of Modern English Usage or Karen Elizabeth Gordon's The Transitive Vampire -- or both, really.

However, for hoi polloi grammar needs, Fogarty's slim volume does the trick. If you're stumped on when to use who and whom, further or farther, who's or whose; beset with
Geoffrey Sperl
Mar 08, 2009 Geoffrey Sperl rated it really liked it
Excellent resource. I read this on the Kindle and found it to be a nice, fast read that entertained while educating.

This should be a five star book.

However, what I have to take a star from it for is the fact that it's the Grammar Girl podcast re-packaged. In fact, if you've listened to the podcast from the start you have already been exposed to the vast majority of the items in the book. It's difficult to really justify giving it five stars when it is repeated material.

All of that said: I do not
Jul 06, 2012 Saori rated it liked it
This is an introductory, easy-to-read grammar book. I imagine this will be of great use for high school and college students and those who have not learned how to write. I learned English as a second language and also have taken several college courses in linguistics, so the content was actually too familiar to enjoy the book. I wish I had met this book ten years ago.

If you are a native English speaker, this book may catch you off guard and even be delighted at times. You are probably not used
James Hatton
Jul 25, 2015 James Hatton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yes! I read this book like a novel; I mean cover to cover. I loved it! Who would believe a book about usage and grammar could be entertaining? Not me. I tuned out the English teacher in the second grade and remained tuned out thereafter, until I couldn't stand my writing mistakes anymore. Finally, I decided to do something about them. Reading "Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing" is my first successful effort in that direction. I've tried reading other writing guides; they put ...more
Jun 20, 2009 Yvonne rated it it was amazing
I love GG's podcast and have listened to every one of them--some of them twice! I always learn something in each podcast, or else she confirms something I thought I knew and I get to say "I was right!" I expected her book to deliver no less, and I was not disappointed.

While some of the information in the book is also on the podcast, I enjoy having the book next to my computer so if I have a question, I can quickly refer to the print version instead of having to locate the podcast on her Web site
Adam Parker
Jan 15, 2014 Adam Parker rated it it was amazing
In an attempt to improve my offerings for a friend who is writing his first novel, I picked up a book called Strunk and White's Elements of Style; it was way over my head. After a chapter or two I turned to the fun and quirky writing style of Mignon Fogarty, an author whose grammar tips I had been using for years via her website. I'm glad I did. She took topics like grammar points, word choice, and punctuation, and made them enjoyable to learn about beyond the practicality of the information. I ...more
Mar 10, 2012 Kara rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
A more accurate title would probably be "Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Grammar". There weren't a whole lot of actual writing tips, with the exception of a short chapter near the end with advice like "avoid cliches like the plague".

The grammar instruction was a mix of things I already knew (its vs. it's, affect vs. effect) and things I'd never thought about (the difference between e.g. and i.e., the difference between "hanged" and "hung"). So roughly half the time I felt smug an
Jennifer Smith
Aug 31, 2014 Jennifer Smith rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writing
This is a GREAT grammar and writing book. If I could choose only one grammar book to have on hand, I'd choose this one, even over Strunk & White's "The Elements of Style." It's thorough and it's easy (and fun) to read. Mignon's writing style is personable, friendly, charming, relevant . . . Anymore adjectives I should throw in there?

I'm so glad I got my hands on a copy of this great book. I've already referenced it several times. (I can never keep the rules for "who" and "whom" straight in m
I didn't think I would enjoy reading about grammar (or, well, usage) - but oh, how I did! I'm not a native English-speaker, so naturally I learned a lot from this book (in all fairness to my highschool English teacher, I do recall a lot of the topics brought up in this book came up in her teaching; in fairness to me, that was a while ago - and I had more pressing rules to master then than the proper use of an ellipsis). And it was fun! Indeed, although the book is structured in a way that makes ...more
Gina Briganti
Nov 21, 2013 Gina Briganti rated it it was amazing
Do you love finding an exceptional new tool? I do, and now that I have the Kindle edition of “Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing” by Mignon Fogarty (2008) I may have a tough time purchasing a paper copy of a reference book in the future. The search feature adds loads of ease to answering my grammar and usage questions.

Mignon Fogarty is knowledgeable and fun to read. Who can use this book? Anyone. I typed my question directly into the search feature and results stacked up. I w
Mar 21, 2014 Ashley rated it really liked it
This is one of those truly useful little books. Fogarty breaks down tricky grammar into its essential parts, and she teaches usage succinctly and well. As a teacher, this is really refreshing--I can definitely see myself taking some of Fogarty's strategies and implementing them in my Comp I classroom.

Though Fogarty's writing style is engaging and accessible, my one quibble comes with her use of illustrations and mnemonic devices. I often found her examples about the aardvark and snail to be mor
Dani Shuping
May 01, 2011 Dani Shuping rated it it was amazing
If you're like me and have trouble figuring out where commas go and which words to use when, its really nice to have a book handy that can give you clear cut examples. And I've looked at lot of them...and frankly half of them put me to sleep. This one though is a quick, easy read and a handy reference tool to have around. Mignon puts things in easy to understand format and uses some creative/humorous examples to illustrate what to use when. Its now a permanent part of my collection and sitting i ...more
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Better known as Grammar Girl.
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Share This Book

“I love you. You are the object of my affection and the object of my sentence.” 23 likes
“...passive voice is better than writing out a humongous number and taking the risk that your readers' brains will be numb by the time they get to the verb.” 6 likes
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