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Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing

(Quick and Dirty Tips)

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  2,104 ratings  ·  212 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 also determined to make the pr
Paperback, 224 pages
Published July 8th 2008 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published January 1st 2008)
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 ·  2,104 ratings  ·  212 reviews

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Aug 20, 2011 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 09, 2008 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 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
Mar 10, 2012 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
Jul 10, 2010 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 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
Una Tiers
Jan 17, 2017 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.
Beverly Diehl
Apr 21, 2012 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 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.
Rosey Waters
Not for everyone, and probably a book that should be read not listened too (whoops), but for someone like me who apparently missed grammar in school (maybe I was distracted writing?) this was useful. Doubly so since I have a lot of britishisms as a hold over from my parents.
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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
Lloyd Downey
Apr 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have a few grammar-type books ..which ostensibly help one distinguish between "affect" and "effect"....and similar difficult grammatical issues. But< I think, this book is really good. Mignon has a delightfully informal style and manages to inject a lot of common sense into her writing. She is also aware of differences between British and Americas usage, which is really helpful to me, in Australia, where we have somewhat of a hybrid system.
I'm reminded of my experience writing a Manual for th
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio-book, writing
I like it. I like it a lot. The author reads the text. She is engaging and very nice to listen to. While got a linguist, I think her advise is reliable. This book is only 5 hours long, as opposed to the 12 hour course that I finished listening to yesterday. Now, THAT was a presentation of grammar, punctuation, and language history. It is a virtue that this book is less demanding than the Great Courses book. This book may be all you need, and it is plenty.
Jun 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’m a long time fan of the Grammar Girl podcast. This book is a distillation of the same accessible and non-judgmental guide to language usage. It was a great listen and I’m going to pick up a hard copy for quick referencing.

Regardless of your age or education, I highly recommend this book as a resource and reference to help improve your writing and settle grammar arguments. 👍🏽
Wendy Bunnell
Jul 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
It was cute. I liked the audiobook, but I'm not sure that was the best format for this book, as you couldn't actually see her recommendations, though the author (who narrated the audiobook) did a great job pronouncing everything distinctly and spelling out homonyms when needed in the section on usage and commonly mistaken words.

I don't really "podcast" but I think if I ever try, I'll subscribe to hers.
Ivonne Rovira
Aug 11, 2013 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
Sep 14, 2016 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. ...more
Mar 16, 2009 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
Jun 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: any writer
Shelves: how-to-books
This was such an excellent reference for all those oft-forgotten bits of proper English writing that I am going to have to buy it.

Ms. Fogarty teaching methods are light, easy and entertaining, but thorough enough that I thing I'm actally going to remember most of them.

Ultimately, this is a great little book to check yourself on word and puctuality usage. It answered a few questions that I'd always wondered about when it comes to writing as well as letting the reader/writer know that some of the
Feb 26, 2011 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! ...more
Dec 22, 2013 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.
Randy Tramp
Apr 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I listen to Grammar Girl, Mignon Fogarty, every chance I get. Her podcast is great.

This book has been very helpful. I'll return to it often.

I enjoyed Squiggly and Aardvark. It's a great way to illustrate points.

If you want to brush up on your grammar, then this book is for you.
Julie Adams
Jan 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Great information. The one change I would make is easier indexing of this book's contents on my electronic device. I will use this every week. ...more
Blake Atwood
Oct 26, 2014 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. ...more
Rebecca L
Mar 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015-reads
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.
Brad McKenna
Jun 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobooks, writing
I would recommend this book to everyone. Grammar can be stuffy and dense. Not to mention can bring out the snobs! But she's very accessible and doesn't try to be a replacement for the major style guides. She's giving quick helpful tips to make your writing more betterer (sorrynotsorry).

As Ms. Fogarty says, we're writing more in our daily lives than ever before. After the telephone hit the pause button on correspondence in the traditional sense, it morphed mightily into the digital realm. So we
Greta Cribbs
Mar 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Oh, how I wish everyone would read this book! Or, at least, everyone who has thoughts of being an author. The indie publishing world and the blogosphere are so rife with spelling, punctuation, and usage errors that I sometimes want to scream. This book, in the hands of enough people, could possibly save the world.

Most of the information given seemed pretty basic to me, but I do know people who make even the most obvious of mistakes, so I repeat that everyone needs to read this book. And it's not
D.G. Kaye
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is an excellent guide for all writers and students to keep for handy reference. Fogarty makes learning the rules of writing fun and memorable with her succinct illustrations and examples, using her cartoon characters, Squiggly and Aardvark to demonstrate her examples.

If you find yourself getting stumped on issues such as these issues: pronouns, serial commas, em dashes vs.hyphens, and more, look no further than this handy book. Besides covering the many troubling grammar issues that so
Jun 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Somehow didn't own already. So happy now!

I'm a longtime Grammar Girl podcast fan, even though I haven't listened to podcasts much for a few years. I only recently realized the 10-year anniversary had passed and I still hadn't purchased the book. This book reminded me why I loved this particular podcast so much. Both the podcast and the book are for easy reference and for fun. The fun is important because I already have my old writing class books and notes. Am I really going to check my notes whe
Idelle Kursman
Dec 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Even though I love grammar, I am usually unable to read a grammar book cover to cover because it doesn't hold my interest. This one was different. The author explained the rationale behind many rules: some I already knew, others I practiced but did not know why, and still others I was simply not aware of. I enjoyed Fogarty's book while finding it challenging. One of my favorite sections was toward the end when she gave practical tips for writers looking for freelance work by suggesting writers s ...more
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