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The Elements of F*cking Style: A Helpful Parody

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  314 Ratings  ·  42 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
ebook, 96 pages
Published July 5th 2011 by St. Martin's Griffin
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Kathryn
Oct 07, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
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
...more
Dana
Aug 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Amy
Jul 25, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humour, non-fiction
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
...more
Brent
Sep 05, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.

Amanda
Aug 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very vulgar, but absolutely hilarious! It's the first grammmar/style book that I've read cover to cover!
Nic
Mar 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Chanel
Jun 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you couldn't tell from the title, you should not pick this book up if you have sensitive sensibilities. I laughed out loud at multiple points during this read. I shared it with all my friends who teach English (as I do) and we were all amused. It also serves some good reminders for writing conventions and - surprise - style. I even highlighted some parts to come back to regularly and some others that I might clean up a bit to share with my students.
Cristina
Gift from a writer pal that I was inspired to pick up as part of 2018 resolutions to read more about writing! And it was good for my skillz -- more active voice! But it was also sexist and homophobic in the humorous examples and that was a little rough. I powered through for the greater good of improving my writing and it was worth it.
Jerin Philip
May be too vulgar for many tastes.
Ryan
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Surprisingly vulgar.
Daniel Gardina
May 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
...more
Alley Rivers
"A summary with multiple tenses is like a prostitute with multiple reproductive organs - unseemly"
The concept gets old pretty fast. Yes, you're cursing. Neat.

What Red Read:The Elements of F*cking Style: A Helpful Parody by Chris Baker and Jacob Hansen
Marco
Aug 08, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The bro-ish writing style annoyed me, but it probably is appealing for what seems to be the book's primary target audience: frat dudes and people who wouldn't usually give a damn about grammar. Yet, this book goes beyond merely restating Strunk and White with more cursing: it contains useful guidelines for modern writing, and always keeps context in mind.
Brendan Ingram
Apr 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is all sorts of gold. The examples will have you smiling (or laughing), and it is a fantastic companion to the original "Elements of Style". There is still a need, even in this age of SMS and e-mail, to be able to use punctuation and grammar correctly. I am by no means perfect, but these two books really help.
Jason W Miller
May 23, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Becca
Oct 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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.
Jill Pickle
Nov 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
the book is quite short and can be used only as a supplement to the original. I laughed a lot, though ;)
Hannah Grace
Feb 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012, for-school
Surprisingly helpful, highly amusing, and probably the one thing keeping me sane as I write footnotes for my thesis.
Lindsay
Oct 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I LOVED this book. It's a totally geek fest of grammar, but fun because it's completely inappropriate at the same time.
Jami
Jul 15, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's suppose to be amusing. Instead, it's silly and sexist. I prefer the original.
Kristina
Sep 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One thing I learned---"Pronouns are a real bitch." LOL....
Carolyn Elmore
Feb 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A hilarious take on a classic grammar reference book. I love grammar books!
Brad Phillips
Aug 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great primer/polisher with a tone that'll keep you laughing and keep your grammar refined!
Beau
Feb 10, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comedy
Good idea, but the execution is belabored.
Kristen Kolb
Jan 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is as good as it gets. Short, hilarious and informative, you must pick it up if grammar means anything to you.
Matt Eisenman
Apr 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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...
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Chris Baker is an independent scholar and long-term resident of Thailand.
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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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