Remember Junior High English Class?
Everyone learns many of the grammatical basics, forever to be used correctly, but alas, over time, the details fade.
Before we know it, we’re confusing singular and plural possession, where to put the apostrophes, and we’re saying things like “We should have went to that movie” or “Come to the movie with Evan and I.”
Both are incorrect, and everyone needs a clear, concise, easily read grammar handbook to have on the desk at all times.
Below are five of the best to choose from. It really doesn’t matter which one you choose, but this is a necessary tool for anyone who considers themselves to be a writer.
C. Edward Good – A Grammar Book for You and I (Oops, Me): All the Grammar You Need to Succeed in Life (Capital Ideas)
Good is good. He knows what he’s writing about, and he keeps the language loose and easy to read. He points out the grammatical mistakes that people most often use.
And it’s the truth: Those teaching at the college level or who hire students fresh out of college are raising their eyebrows at the lack of grammatical mastery. It’s not hard. People all need a “refresher course” from time to time, and this source is just that.
Most reviewers give this a five out of five star rating, and that’s a fair assessment.
Amy Einsohn – The Copyeditor’s Handbook: A Guide for Book Publishing and Corporate Communications.
Despite the title, this one is particularly good for bloggers because it specifically addresses type coding and onscreen editing techniques.
Blogging is one of the many new forms of “corporate communications” and the universe is responding to it. Blogs get read more easily than heavier forms of writing. They are often incredibly informative, but the tone and style are lighter. This resource well explains this truth, and Einsohn’s style is humorous and refreshing.
Patricia T. O’Connor – Woe is I: The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English, 3rd Edition
Great title, isn’t it?
O’Connor is a former editor for the New York Times Book Review, and she’s got a great wit about her. She plays with words like a four-year-old plays with Legos; she uses mnemonic devices to remember some of the tricks are pithy and will evoke a smirk or maybe even a belly laugh. Hey, some people do sound pretty inept when they make the many grammatical mistakes that float through our daily lives.
O’Connor attempts to save you some embarrassment and to make you have a light-hearted approach to the whole topic. The cover is a fun one to have on your bookshelf, too. And, certainly, this is an entirely worthy purchase for any blogger.
William Strunk – The Elements of Style (4th Edition)
Strunk and White are still in the game. This one has been around forever, and it’s a tried and true source. Straightforward and trustworthy, this source provides excellent illustrations of any and all grammatical issues. This one is timeless. And it’s a keeper.
One reviewer shared that this little book “. . . should be the daily companion of anyone who writes for a living, and for that matter, anyone who writes at all.” In a word: yes.
Susan Thurman: The Only Grammar Book You’ll Ever Need
Much like its cousins, brothers, and sisters in the book world, this book presents an excellent array of up-to-date, simplistic, and easy-to-understand basics. Truly, this is for a younger blogger who may be getting his or her toes wet with the blogging world. The vocabulary and tone are geared to a seemingly youngest, less experienced audience, but it is a perfect desktop resource.
What’s your favorite go-to grammar stylebook?
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