Rebecca's Reviews > Woe is I: The Grammarphobe's Guide to Better English in Plain English

Woe is I by Patricia T. O'Conner
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's review
Aug 28, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: school-books, nonfiction
Recommended to Rebecca by: required reading
Recommended for: people who want a reference book for grammar
Read in August, 2011 — I own a copy , read count: 1

I should start off by saying that I think this book is supposed to be used more as a reference, rather than read straight through, due to the dictionary-like entries that last for fifty pages and the way the chapters were divided. However, for school, I had to read it straight through.

My biggest problem with this book was that, to me, it felt extremely condescending. The way the author writes makes the reader feel like the reader knows absolutely nothing about grammar; she assumes that some "common mistakes" are mistakes that the reader has made, she explains extraordinarily basic things, etc.

Another issue I had was with the actual content, though this is minor--I did notice a mistake she made (she said that "until" and "till" are correct but not "'til"; all three are correct, though "'til" is frowned upon). She also said some general guidelines as if they were set-in-stone rules.

If I had not had to read this book for my English class, I would not have finished it because the information was generally so basic that I knew 97% of the information, and because the author's attitude was irritating.

However, I think that this book would work fine as a reference, though a Google search might do the same job.

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