June Casagrande: Grammar Snobs Are Great Big Meanies

Grammar Snobs are Great Big Meanies: A Guide to Language for Fun & Spite
by June Casagrande
(non-fiction)

I majored in English in college. So perhaps it is no surprise that I enjoyed a book which is, essentially, about grammar. (I don’t claim to use all of the information contained in said book correctly. I am not a grammar snob. So there.) I have actually enjoyed two books about grammar, but we’re only talking about one of them at the moment.

I think that June Casagrande used many of her newspaper columns to make up this book. (She writes a grammar column.) The chapters are short, and while this suits the subject matter, it also suits the length a newspaper column would be. Each chapter is nicely contained and can be read really in any order, though some of them do reference prior chapters. They also contain wonderfully humorous snippets and chapter titles such as:

“I’ll take ‘I Feel Like A Moron’ for $200, Alex”
“I’m Writing This While Naked”
“Do you know what a question mark is? If you don’t, then you can’t understand the last sentence, which means you’re no longer reading, which means the only people still reading are the ones who don’t need question marks defined.”
and “…a team of Santa Monica [police] officers stormed into a crime scene and ordered several suspects to make love on the floor.”

It’s a truly amusing book for those who are willing to accept that they might not always use proper grammar. (I don’t.) Also, if you consider yourself a grammar snob (or, as Lynne Truss of Eats, Shoots & Leaves puts it, a “stickler”) who wants to be better than those of us who don’t know how to properly use transitive verbs, you may want to avoid this book. Because as the title suggests, this book is for the average person who wants a better – and humorous – grasp of the English language.

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