Eastofoz's Reviews > My Grammar and I... Or Should That Be Me?: How to Speak and Write It Right

My Grammar and I... Or Should That Be Me? by Caroline Taggart
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Oct 11, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: dictionaries-ref
Recommended to Eastofoz by: Kathrynn M.
Recommended for: Grammar lovers & haters who like a fun read

So let’s say you’re one of those people who’s not always 100% sure about whether to use either/or/neither/nor or maybe you go apostrophe happy putting those little marks not only with contractions but for just about everything else thinking you’re making a possessive, or you’re a bit sucky in the punctuation department, irregular plurals perhaps (one dice two die or is it the other way around? Does that even exist!? LOL!) This is a great little book from the Reader’s Digest collection that will without a doubt help you avoid some very big pitfalls that the native English speaker makes in both writing and speaking.

Written in a light, fun way and never bogged down with grammar lingo that only a linguistics major could decipher, you’ll pick up quite a few memory aids and things that just may surprise you (like OMG you don’t say “a local resident” or “a new innovation”?!). Each chapter deals with a particular problem area with a catchy title to draw you in providing some good examples of common errors and how to fix them. There’s an interesting chart about groups like what do you call a group of dolphins –“a pod” and not “a school” like you would for fish. If that kind of thing interests you then you’ll find some cool tidbits in this book. If you’re learning the language even at an advanced level this book will also be very helpful because it goes through things like the various passive and active verb tenses and their conjugations, pronouns, conjunctions, common interjections and the list goes on.

Unfortunately I couldn’t give it a 5 star rating because I wasn’t sold on their explanation of when/how to use “I” and “Me”, one of the biggest mistakes around. Still found that confusing. Nevertheless it’s a solid 4.5 stars that would make a handy addition to any reference shelf.
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Comments (showing 1-19 of 19) (19 new)

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message 1: by Auntee (new)

Auntee I could certainly use a refresher course--sounds like a good book.
So true about the "I and Me" problem--that one really grates on my nerves.:)


Eastofoz I don't know why that one is so hard to grasp but it's a pain that's for sure :-/ There's no quick trick to remember it like there are with other tricky grammar points.


message 3: by Angelc (new)

Angelc Great review, Eastofoz!! Sounds like a very useful book!


message 4: by Adrienne (last edited Dec 03, 2009 10:35AM) (new)

Adrienne I like dipping in and out of these type of books, and admit to keeping a dictionary, thesaurus, and guide to English usage by the computer. The "I" and "Me" is always confusing I was taught (and of course I could be wrong) if you can take out the other part and the sentence still reads correctly you've got it right so:- "John and I went to the park" becomes "I went to the Park", whereas "John and me went to the park" would become "me went to the park" which is wrong. The Queen always gets this rule spot on LOL but then I guess she has writers who do it for her.


Eastofoz Adrienne that's the basic rule I'd agree but there are other exceptions that don't have a verb following "I" but you still use "I" not "me" and I still can't figure out why 8-)

Thanks Angelc!


message 6: by Auntee (new)

Auntee Adrienne wrote: "I like dipping in and out of these type of books, and admit to keeping a dictionary, thesaurus, and guide to English usage by the computer. The "I" and "Me" is always confusing I was taught (and o..."

That's how I always figure it too, Adrienne.:)
East, what are the exceptions to that--got any examples? Or should I say "do you have any examples?":)


Eastofoz LOL! Do you know though Auntee that that's acceptable grammar in American conversation and they do teach how to leave out words to sound more "natural" ;)

How about "She's coming with Rob and me/I" --which is right and why? There's another pain in the butt grammar one with he/him, of course I can't remember it now. If I think of it I'll post it.


message 8: by Auntee (new)

Auntee Please tell me it's "me" and not "I", otherwise I've been wrong all these years...:)


message 9: by Adrienne (new)

Adrienne I'd say it's "me" too:)


Eastofoz I'd say either (lol!) but one of them has to be wrong and why would the other be right :) Gotta be a rule in there somewhere.....


message 11: by Tammy (new)

Tammy Sounds like this book would come in handy for me at work. We often have to refer to a grammar guide or legal secretary's manual and even then we're not sure if we're using proper grammar or not!


message 12: by Rossy (new) - added it

Rossy Ah so at last the fact that English is my second language is a good thing. The correct way would be to use "I".
I will be getting this book. I may not have problems with the "I/me" issue but i do with so many other little things.

I'm curious, if you can't say "a local resident" how can you say it? Just "a local" or "a resident in the area"?LOL


message 13: by Rane (last edited Dec 03, 2009 06:07PM) (new)

Rane Awesome Review East, I wish I had this when I truned in my reports to my english teacher....*cringes*


Eastofoz Rossy why would you say "I" and not "me"? I could argue for either (lol!)

You can't say "a local resident" (even though tons of people say it) because you'd be repeating yourself. A resident is local otherwise they wouldn't be a resident. This book had some funny stuff like that that has just become accepted even though it's wrong.

Another point that I thought was interesting was how to use "who" and "whom" correctly. What they didn't mention though is that that's being phased out of the language altogether (just because it's so massacred--lol!) and most newer grammar books aren't teaching it or are saying it's outdated.


Eastofoz Rane wrote: "Awesome Review East, I wish I had this when I truned into my reports to my english teacher....*cringes*"

LOL Rane!


message 16: by Rossy (last edited Dec 03, 2009 06:43PM) (new) - added it

Rossy Eastofoz wrote: "Rossy why would you say "I" and not "me"? I could argue for either (lol!)"

That's the way i was taught in school when i was learning how to speak and write english, so it stuck. I have no way of really remembering this mind you, it's like they programmed it into my head that way.
The response is automatic for when am not including anyone other than myself in the sentence. So maybe that's just it. If you include yourself with another person in the sentence, it means you should always use "I"? I know for sure that when you place "My" in any sentence and then include yourself again the correct way is "I". Again have no clue why, just know that's how it goes.

Ugh, giving myself a headache trying to figure it all out.ROFLMAO


Eastofoz Ah the joys and puzzles of explaining grammar (lol!)


message 18: by Cheryl (new) - added it

Cheryl This sounds like a very useful book, I must get it!! I think it will come in handy because I have three children and it never hurts for me to brush up on proper English Grammar! You are right, it is hard to know when to use "I" or "Me" in a sentence. I never could grasp that concept. Also confusing to me was when to use "who" or "whom"!
Can you imagine learning English as a secondary language? It's hard enough when it is what you've been learning your entire life! :)


Eastofoz Cheryl wrote: "This sounds like a very useful book, I must get it!! I think it will come in handy because I have three children and it never hurts for me to brush up on proper English Grammar! You are right, it..."

I think English is hell to learn for the pronunciation because it just doesn't make sense 8-) The rest of it seems "doable" --well then there's the who/whom and me/I isssue (lol!)


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