Pedantic about punctuation or scrupulous about spelling? You'll love this hilarious and definitive guide to 21st century language from grammar-guru Gyles Brandreth
'Brilliant, clear, entertaining, very funny and often outright silly. Brandreth excels . . . in all his linguistic joie de vivre' Guardian
Why, like, does everyone keep saying 'like'?
Why do apostrophe's keep turning up in the wrong place?
Why do we get confused when using foreign phrases - and vice versa?
Is it 'may be' or 'maybe'? Should it be 'past' or 'passed'? Is it 'referenda' or 'referendums'?
FFS, what's happening to our language!?
Our language is changing, literacy levels are dwindling and our grasp of grammar is at crisis point, so you wouldn't be alone in thinking WTF! But do not despair, Have You Eaten Grandma? is here: Gyles Brandreth's definitive (and hilarious) guide to punctuation, spelling, and good English for the twenty-first century.
Without hesitation or repetition (and just a touch of deviation) Gyles, the Just A Minute regular and self-confessed grammar guru, skewers the linguistic horrors of our time, tells us where we've been going wrong (and why), and reveals his tips and tricks to ensure that, in future, we make fewer (rather than 'less') mistakes. End of.
(Is 'End of' alright? Is 'alright' all right? You'll find out right here . . . )
'Best thing ever, laugh-a-lot, spanning everything. Great book, I'm loving this' Chris Evans, BBC Radio 2
Self-styled "language obsessive and... punctuation perfectionist" Brandreth (Oscar Wilde and the Return of Jack the Ripper), a mystery novelist, BBC broadcaster, and former member of Parliament, defends the correct use of English in this witty usage guide. Presenting "the richest language in the world" as a well-established route to health, wealth, and happiness albeit one imperiled by social media and other modern developments he starts with the basics: proper punctuation, dashes and hyphens, apostrophes, spelling, and pluralization. Brandreth uses humorous examples, historical asides (Dan Quayle's "potatoe" spelling), extensive charts, and mnemonic devices of his own creation to illustrate his points. Though the Queen's (i.e., British) English is his main focus, he also sets aside his "stiff upper lip" (a stereotypically English trait which is actually an American coinage) to explore its many divergences from American English. The resulting confusion, he shows, is compounded by the continual addition of all types of new words into the common lexicon, such as social media lingo, euphemisms, and portmanteaus. Ultimately, clarity, not rigid rule-adherence, is key to Brandreth's philosophy of writing. Bolstered with an epilogue giving straightforward definitions for different parts of speech, his passionate, enlightening, and easily navigable manual is certainly the right book at the right time.