A comprehensive, practical reference guide to the idiosyncrasies of the English language
No one knows grammar like Michael Strumpf. For over a quarter of a century, as creator and proprietor of the National Grammar Hot Line, he helped thousands of callers from every corner of the globe tackle the thorniest issues of English grammar. Now, in The Grammar Bible, he has created an eminently useful guide to better speaking and writing.
Unlike other grammar manuals, The Grammar Bible is driven by the actual questions Professor Strumpf encountered during his years of teaching and fielding phone calls from anxious writers, conscientious students, and perplexed editors, including such perennial quandaries as
o Where do I put this comma?
o What case should this pronoun be in?
o How do I form the possessive of Dickens?
Professor Strumpf explains these and other language issues with wit and wisdom, showing how to speak more clearly and write more impressively by avoiding common errors and following the principles of good grammar. Whether you need a comprehensive review of the subjunctive mood or simply want to know which form of a verb to use, The Grammar Bible is a practical guide that will enlighten, educate, and entertain.
Strumpf has been fielding calls on the National Grammar Hot Line for more than 25 years, telling callers how to make their subjects agree with their verbs and tell the difference between "who" and "whom." Thus many of the examples in this thick but highly readable grammar handbook come from questions sometimes rather charming ones posed by callers. With the help of editor and writer Douglas, Strumpf guides the grammar-challenged reader through the parts of speech, then demonstrates how to dissect sentences, from the simplest to the most complex. His clear-cut guidelines offer some flexibility: he grants permission to end sentences with prepositions and to use the passive voice. On other points, however, like the ban on split infinitives, the rules remain intractable. Fellow grammarians will find much to argue with, from Strumpf's insistence on the interchangeability of "that" and "which" to the use of abbreviations in print. It's easy to sympathize with the idea that network broadcasters should be required to observe the rules of good grammar, but some of his pet peeves, such as overused adjectives and vulgar interjections, seem just, well, peevish. Though it will almost certainly be overshadowed by the buzz-carrying Eats, Shoots & Leaves, Strumpf's handbook does convey the basics of grammar well enough to be of great use to any casual writer.