My Grammar And I – the grammar book everybody should read

For many people, grammar is the bane of their existence. There are so many rules to grasp, not all of which follow a sense of logic, and if you are lucky enough to understand it all, you find yourself infuriated by those who cannot. One of the problems with grammar, I believe, is that to learn it is quite a boring task in itself, and when you add to this modern problems such as the growth of internet language (‘gr8’ has been added to some dictionaries, apparently), it’s not hard to see why so many academics are concerned about the (lack of) use of grammar in society.

A great book which addresses this issue rather well is My Grammar And I (Or Should That Be ‘Me’?): Old-School Ways To Sharpen Your English, by Caroline Taggart and J. A. Wines. Why is this book so awesome, you ask? Because apart from the fact that it’s quite a straight forward yet comprehensive guide to grammar, covering spelling, elements of speech, sentence structure, punctuation and more, it is also quite witty and entertaining, helping bring to life an otherwise potentially dull subject. The book is broken down into short sections, and it totals less than two hundred pages, making it a quick read as well as a convenient handbook of sorts.

This book is great for people lacking in grammar skills and knowledge, but it is also a great read for those simply wanting to brush up on their skills for whatever reason. I am only part of the way through but am already enjoying it immensely, and would recommend this book to anyone and everyone.

How confident are you with grammar? Do you think grammar is important?

Do you rely heavily on spell-check and similar features of word processors to catch out your mistakes, or do you prefer to find them for yourself?

28 thoughts on “My Grammar And I – the grammar book everybody should read

  1. Hey, this sounds good, might have to check it out! I’m constantly on the look out for interesting grammar books that aren’t a total snooze!

      • Have you read Strictly English by Simon Heffer? That’s quite good although it’s a tad on the snobbish side (in my opinion, also me saying that is probably like pot kettle black) and also I reckon it probably is aimed more at those who already know lots about grammar.

        • Ahh no I haven’t read that one either though I have heard about it. I like a bit of snobbishness sometimes – it makes things more entertaining hahaha! I might have to look into this book, thanks for the recommendation. 🙂

  2. I’ll have to check into this. Up until now, Eats, Shoots and Leaves has been my fave for grammar, etc.

    I’m pretty confident with grammar but if I had to identify the different areas of grammar, maybe not so good. Knowing all the names for clauses and phrases confuses me sometimes, but I seem to know how it all works…at least until my brain putzes out and forgets. Can I use middle age as an excuse?

    • Interestingly enough this is compared favourably to Eats, Shoots and Leaves (which I must confess I am yet to read for some reason).
      Yeah I think I feel the same about grammar – I can use it, but I’m not consciously using it, I just happen to anyway, hence why a bit of a brush up on it wouldn’t go astray.

  3. I never believed grammar was my strong suit–I found that out when I had someone edit my first book, Illusion. 🙂 But I ended up picking up so much from editing, that my next two books weren’t riddled with the same mistakes. I still rely on my editors to help me catch those pesky mishaps that you can read 100 times and STILL somehow miss, but my confidence has risen dramatically since book one.

    • I know how you feel, and I think no matter how good you become with grammar, you still need a second pair of eyes at the very least to catch things you might have missed. Like many things, I think the only real way to get better at grammar is to keep writing, keep practising. 🙂

  4. I’ve just added this to my library list. It’s been so long since I was at school that I’m sure there are mistakes that I make due to my ignorance. Can’t wait to give this a read.

    • Oh definitely, and there is an alarming amount of grammar which hasn’t been taught in schools for a very long time, and is largely unknown yet still quite relevant. This book is definitely worth the read for that. 🙂

  5. I like to think I use good grammar, especially since I write for kids/teens. I figure I should present the proper grammar to them and maybe they’ll learn it in a more entertaining way than rote memorizing the names for clauses, etc. Conversations are a different thing altogether. Those should reflect the age level I’m writing for or the time period in which the story is set. I’m sure there might be things I have forgotten since high school or grade school, so it might be a good idea for me to check out ‘My Grammar and I (or is it me?)’. 🙂

    • I agree with you – it’s much more fun to learn proper grammar through demonstration of good and grammatically correct writing, than being taught through rote learning. That’s half the problem – a lot of the writing kids read these days is on the internet, and thus not grammatically correct, or at times even words. 😛 What alarms me is how much grammar isn’t in the school syllabuses…I find when I do teach English (which is rarely these days, I seem to be drifting toward Mathematics more) I try to sneak in a grammar rule here and there. The kids are so not used to it they sometimes take an interest in it, which is kind of funny really.

  6. Great! I’ll have to check this out.
    My family and friends call me the “grammar police”. I can’t stand to see incorrect grammar (and spelling!). My mom bought me a book called “I Judge You When You Use Bad Grammar” and it is pictures of signs, etc. from all over the country (perhaps world?) with bad grammar and spelling, along with commentary. Cracks me up every time I read it!

    • Hahaha, my family call me the grammar police too. Luckily, I have a lot of friends who think likewise (though I have many who don’t, too). That book you mention sounds awesome – I think I might need to look into that one. I try not to judge people too harshly on it, but sometimes it’s hard not to, especially if they’re in a position where they have no excuse for using it, like a position of power, or of it’s a piece of marketing (I mean, really, it’s not that hard to double check it). 😛

      • Completely agree about professional materials! And I also have quite a few friends and family who will definitely pounce on incorrect usage.
        It’s a short book. Like I said, mainly photos with captions, but so funny! (It’s the comments that go along with the photos that really make it!)

    • Hahaha, thanks, glad you think so! I really do need to get back to doing more book blogs considering that was supposed to be the focus of my blog! 😛
      That book sounds interesting! 🙂

  7. I have a simple grammar book that I rely on, I had a very mediocre to poor education but actually manage with the old rules to help me. This looks like a super book.

    • That’s great that you can use that book and your knowledge of the grammar rules to help you, despite your educational background. I think anybody can manage no matter what their education if they are determined and willing to do so, so it’s great to see I think! 🙂
      This book is definitely a lot of fun. It has some great quotes in it too.

  8. I’ve noticed over the years that every grammar hammer has his or her own thing: my fiancée’s greatest pet peeve is the “lay vs. lie” error, for example, and you cannot get it past her without correction. Mine is much more impractical and archaic: “who vs. whom.” Guarding that one has me feeling like that old knight from “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.”

    • Ahhh yes, the who vs. whom one is a good one. I get quite cranky when people mix up practice and practise, and other words where the c/s determines if it is a verb or noun. Kind of a big difference 😛

  9. I was just checking out the infinite scrolling thing but I HAVE THIS BOOK!
    And I had forgotten about it!!
    Picked it up randomly on a trip to England, and proceeded to sleep on it during the flight home. Gotta dig it up from the dark shelf of forgotten books…
    Thanks for the reminder/suggestion 🙂

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