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Grammar Snobs Are Great Big Meanies: A Guide to Language for Fun and Spite
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Grammar Snobs Are Great Big Meanies: A Guide to Language for Fun and Spite

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  822 ratings  ·  162 reviews
When writing a "Dear John: letter, do you fret over whether to hyphenate 'chronic hallitosis'? Have you gotten into trouble misusing who or whom, or worse, lie and lay? And where does the %#@* comma go anyway?

Here's some good news for everyone who's ever been bullied into believing they can't speak their own language: The grammar snobs are bluffing. Half the 'rules' they
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Paperback, 199 pages
Published March 28th 2006 by Penguin Books
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Average rating 3.78  · 
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 ·  822 ratings  ·  162 reviews


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Riku Sayuj
Apr 28, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: r-r-rs

For Whom the Snob Trolls

Grammar snobs who like to bully people have done an incredible job of alienating the rest of us from even wanting to know stuff like how to use the word whom. But theres a good reason to learn. So good that its worth overcoming the visceral aversion to the word that these grammar snobs have instilled in us.

And here is that reason: About half the people you hear spewing the word whom in everyday conversation dont really know how.

Its now almost normal to just glaze over
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Linda
Nov 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this little gem of a book!!!

Having been a proofreader in my "previous life," sending someone's masterpiece back to them all marked up created a LOT of hostility in the workplace! I tried using a pink pen to soften the rejection, but no one was comforted by the color. Eventually, I convinced these writers that my goal was to make them look good. My bailiwick was punctuation and grammar. I wasn't questioning their content, but I was trying to polish it up and make it easier for
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Deborah Markus
Mar 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
June Casagrande is my personal deity. You should know that before you read the rest of this review (or while deciding whether or not to do so).

She's funny, she's smart, and she knows when to take grammar seriously and when to tell it to get over itself, already.

I could quote this book like mad -- and, let's face it, I have and will continue to do so. But really, there are only two things you need to know about it.

The first is that Casagrande doesn't mind saying that there are plenty of times
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Tanu Gill
Jun 23, 2016 rated it liked it
It was a fun book, if a bit confusing at times.
Mayda
May 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, humor
This is one book that should be kept at your fingertips whenever you are writing something more involved than a shopping list. Inserting humor into the rules of grammar was a stroke of genius. Maybe if high school texts followed suit, more kids would pay attention. I listened to the audio version, which was a hoot, but a print version would be much easier to reference. Regardless, (and that IS the correct word usage), this book is one that should be read and reread, especially when you are ...more
Lela
Aug 18, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book is rather snarky but has moments of being very funny. There are some good explanations of certain grammar rules done in a non-teacherly way. But, at times it gets bogged down in its own cuteness. Maybe a book more clearly arranged, more user-friendly, and, yes, more teacherly would be a better guide to follow.
Noah Nichols
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library-loaned
Lots to mull over with this one! Will be back soon.
Chelsea
Oct 04, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: humor, booksandwords, 2007
I didn't expect the same level of enthusiasm as Lynn Truss put into Eats, Shoots and Leaves, but I was disappointed in this. And I get that it was an anti-grammar snob book, but isn't that a bit hypocritical for the author of a, you know, book about correct grammar usage? Skip the weak humor unless you're really into anti-grammar humor (there must be a club out there, right?), and just buy a grammar guide. It will probably be much clearer.

That said, there's a lot of good information buried in
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Jan C
Sep 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: humor, 2019, language
This might have been a 3 star review until I found myself skimming the last 40 pages.

But I did learn a few things. The Simpsons is the most linguistically correct television show. Which led into a discussion of "'til" vs "till". I have been guilty of using 'til. There's no such word - unless you're being cutesy - open 'til 12. I had assumed, incorrectly, that it was a shortened version of until. WRONG! Till is the shortened version of until. I stand corrected and hope to never make this mistake
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J.L.
Apr 10, 2012 rated it it was ok
I purchased this book based on the recommendation of someone at the same time I purchased Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss. I read Eats, Shoots & Leaves several months ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. I identified with the authors concern for the laxness and the lowering of standards for using grammar and punctuation correctly. The book was not only a great refresher, but I learned several new things.

Grammar Snobs Are Great Big Meanies: A
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Kelly Mogilefsky
Sep 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: grammar geeks
OK, so, yes, this is a grammar book. Author June Casagrande covers pronoun agreement, commas, and lots of common errors. But (yes, it is okay to start a sentence with "but") this author is unique in her approach. She is funny (though, after a while, the "outsider" shtick gets a little old). Even better than that, Casagrande overviews the opinions of the major grammar and usage bibles on all the key issues of the day. In doing so, Casagrande makes clear just how unclear modern English grammar is. ...more
Jim
May 02, 2016 marked it as to-read
Snark City. Fun as an audiobook.

I must remember to use the phrase " You/They will get their comeuppance" more.

Not only is " To Boldly Go where No Man has Gone before" correct English; it is F-ing awesome.....

This book is written to make fun of the people and outsnark those who have the need to publicly correct your every grammar gaff.

You know the type.....

No Mr Parker, It's Whom Are You Going to Call ? Ghostbusters

(Putting this down till I have a road trip, Recommended , Great Fun)
Robert Hobkirk
Apr 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I've read this year. Witty. I'm looking forward to reading more by June Casagrande.
Brandon
Jan 07, 2013 rated it liked it
I am a grammar snob; or, rather, I am a grammar nerd/geek. While grammar snobs attack others because of their misuse of grammar, grammar nerds and geeks appreciate the rules of grammar and try to help others when they're unsure how to use grammar properly. June Casagrande, author of Grammar Snobs Are Great Big Meanies: A Guide to Language for Fun and Spite, hates the former group; she explains how most of them know how to spot grammar mistakes but not how to explain why they're mistakes.

If
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Kirsti
I have got to stop choosing books based on whether the title makes me laugh. When Bad Christians Happen to Good People didn't do much for me either.

I did learn two things from this book.

One, grizzly bears were so named because brown grizzlies have silver-tipped fur. So referring to a person as grizzled refers to that individual having grayish hair, not to him or her being tough or weathered.

Two, if you want a practical guide to grammar, buy a book that has the word usage in the title. These are
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James
Apr 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Any English language learner
Recommended to James by: Robert Hobkirk
Shelves: non-fiction
A delightfully snarky guide to basic grammar, the examples are hysterical and you will remember them. The author also doesn't assume you know the arcane language of grammar, something I was only exposed to in my 30's studying Japanese. Some books on this subject are so dry that they could be used in the perfect martini.

It also proves my oft stated comment, "English is the language from Hell.", with her press clipping "SATAN UNVEILS NEW LANGUAGE: ENGLISH". ROTFL. Having some experience with
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jeannine
Jul 07, 2007 rated it really liked it
I'm not yet finished with this but it is LAUGH OUT LOUD hilariousness about one of the subjects I hold near and dear to my heart..grammar! It's very funny, very well written and more than once I found myself saying, 'Oh my! I am the person about whom she is writing!!!!!' :)

Short, cute and a quick summer read. Gearing up for the Potter release in a few weeks!
John
Jul 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: language
I think this review is best done by simply discussing the conclusions I made while reading:

Grammar Snobs is probably the funniest grammar book available. Casegrande has a wicked sense of humor, and some of her jokes are bawdy to the point of being one-liners for the Simpsons or Family Guy. She tells her reader that she researched both for this book, and it shows (in the best way). Her jokes mostly hit the mark, and in several places I was laughing out loud in public places, trying to hide the
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Allison Hurd
Jan 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Read for an English class. Liked Eats, Shoots, and Leaves better.
Marzena
Grammar nazis, snobs, meanies- call them whatever you like- June Casagrande made sure to paint a picture of a bunch of conservative people with (probably) broomsticks stuck up their asses. She debates about Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation and about every dictionary she's found nearby. The conclusion is clear: the rules not only change, there are as many rules as there are sources. Some rules applied to text in books won't apply to articles. More, what you ...more
Sue Smith
Feb 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Well, you've got to love a book that teaches you something and gives you some laughs at the same time. Especially something as dry and - yes, admittedly - boring as the science of grammar. I was using this book as a filler between a few other tomes I was reading (so much easier to cart around in my purse and soooo much easier on my back) and just so happened to find a gem! You can't ask for more than that!

Definitely witty and full of interesting tidbits and rules of those sticky points in the
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Blake
Jul 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humour, grammar
Note: This review is a repeat of a previous review with Casagrande's name substituted for the author of the original work. This is further supplemented with lyrics from Lisa Hannigan.

A refreshing read and able to be got through in one sitting. Casagrande has a gift for pressing her tongue firmly into her cheek and gluing it there. Her critics seem to have mistaken this for seriousness and a preacher's declarative form, but I just don't see it. Many people want a stern guide to grammar and
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Collyn
Mar 02, 2011 rated it did not like it
I appreciate what the author is trying to do, but this frankly isn't a very good book. It is condescending (while trying to sound friendly), and it makes unnecessary mistakes (we can split some infinitives, but Casagrande seems to split them for fun). It could certainly be better-organized, and there are rules that she simply ignores (there really is a difference between "Do you mind me asking?" and "Do you mind my asking?"). I do love a good grammar book, and I am all for relaxing rules and ...more
Sarahinparis
Aug 27, 2009 rated it did not like it
One thing that I find rarely works is when authors think they are very clever and very funny and use that "humor" nonstop.

In addition to having to read through page after page of trying-too-hard-to-be-funny text and examples, the book is neither well organized nor particularly helpful.

While I did appreciate the bottom-line messages of her book (trust yourself, and a lot of the time there is no single right answer), she didn't really provide a lot of learning or demonstrate any particular
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Jill
Aug 19, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: language
Sometimes the author tries too hard, but mostly super fun and very funny!

My favorite line is from Chapter 28: Possessives and Words Ending in "S," "X," and "Z on p 121. "'Since feelings on these matters sometimes run high, users of this manual may wish to modify or add to the exceptions' (a footnote thought by many also to appear at the end of the Ten Commandments)." Oh, I definitely enjoyed that one!

In addition to being highly entertaining, there is some seriously useful info in here to be
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Heather&Lia Breslin
Feb 16, 2016 rated it liked it
I found this book enjoyable but at times tedious. Casagrande herself acknowledges the tedium of the semi-colon vs. colon wars, but that does not stop it actually becoming tedious. I did appreciate her referencing multiple sources to point out that there is little agreement among experts on the questions that trip up common folk. I now feel more at ease with my usual approach of going with my best judgement.
Bobby
Oct 04, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed
This book did clarify some grammar ambiguities for me while making me laugh out loud at times. However, in the end, it's not comprehensive enough to be a reference book (though in her defense, I don't think that was author's intention anyway). And she perseverates on "grammar meanies" so much that I started to find it tiresome and juvenile after a while.
Catherine
Sep 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Catherine by: Recommended by: Stormy, my partner in grammar snobbery
A funny and easy going book about grammar that confirmed my uncomfortable suspicion about myself: I am a grammar snob about the rules I know, but quite laissez faire about those Im less clear on. Lots of good information conveyed with humor, and the best explanation Ive ever read of who v. whom.
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Laura Barbosky
Jan 12, 2008 rated it liked it
For those of us who both love detailed grammar rules, want to make fun of those who misuse them, AND make fun of those who take them to seriously, all in one. And you get to learn things as you go. (seriously, since when can you legitimately start sentences with conjunctions? did I miss that day in English class?)
Amber
Feb 14, 2009 rated it it was ok
Although the tone of the book was rather entertaining, as the chapter progressed, I found myself identifying more and more often with the "Grammar Snobs" than with the author and her intended audience.
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“As you can see, the hyphen is a nasty, tricky, evil little mark that gets its kicks igniting arguments in newsrooms and trying to make everyone in the English-speaking world look like an idiot - it's the Bill Maher of punctuation.” 10 likes
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