Steven's Reviews > The Glamour of Grammar: A Guide to the Magic and Mystery of Practical English

The Glamour of Grammar by Roy Peter Clark
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's review
Feb 16, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: language
Read from March 02 to 09, 2011

I chose to read this book because I thought my writing had been getting stale and slovenly of late. I halfway expected the dry, academic approach to what works and what doesn't work writing-wise -- a kind of modern day Strunk & White. One topic he doesn't cover is clichés, so I feel I can describe Clark's book as a "delightful romp?" There, I did it.

The books is composed of 50 mini-lessons on the effective usage of language, most of them 2-3 pages long, grouped into various categories, from the simpler, to the more complex -- words, points (punctuation), standards, meaning and purpose. Each lesson ends with a keepsakes section -- bulleted lists of points to remember. These are compiled into a short appendix at the back of the book to make them even handier.

Clark is funny and very enthusiastic about his topic. He talks throughout the book about living "inside the language" -- being curious about and attentive to words and how they're used. He brings in examples from all over the place -- fiction, nonfiction, journalism. I'm sure taking a writing class from him would be fun.

I'm also hoping he never reads this review and thinks, "Wasn't that guy even paying attention?"

Overall, a great little handbook on usage.

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04/26/2016 marked as: read

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