Saturday, August 7, 2010
The Big Ten of Grammar by William B. Bradshaw, PhD -- Book Review
If part of your daily responsibilities include writing, then you need to pick up a copy of The Big Ten of Grammar: Identifying and Fixing the Ten Most Frequent Grammatical Errors by William B. Bradshaw, PhD.
This book might be slim, but it certainly isn't skinny on information. Bradshaw takes the reader through the ten most frequent grammatical errors--some of which I've committed. From the misuse of "I" and "Me" to troublesome verbs, and from apostrophes to quotation marks, The Big Ten of Grammar, will improve your written communication and set you apart from the crowd.
I have to admit that the first two chapters endeared me to the author. Instead of pounding rules into his readers' heads, he suggests listening to how a sentence sounds to know proper usage. Here is a quick example:
"'You are the best thing that ever happened to your dad and I.' This is incorrect.
"It should be: 'You are the best thing that ever happened to your dad and me.'"
As Bradshaw explains, take "your dad" out of the sentence and say it without those terms. It is obvious by saying the sentence aloud that it is incorrect to say, "You are the best thing that ever happened to I."
In fifth grade I had a homework assignment where we had to decide if "a" or "an" was the correct word to use in a sentence and explain why. Almost everyone in the class did it by listening to the sentence instead of by the grammar rule of "a" precedes a consonant, while "an" precedes a vowel. I guess we were ahead of our time.
The Big Ten of Grammar provides numerous examples so the reader can truly comprehend each lesson. By targeting the ten most frequent grammatical errors, one isn't overwhelmed by a mountain of rules that are impossible to remember. As a writer and an editor, I know I will be referring to this book often.
Also included is a substantial Bonus Section to use as a "quick-and-easy reference for irregular and unusual grammatical practices."
If you want your writing to shine, pick up a copy of The Big Ten of Grammar by William Bradshaw.
Title: The Big Ten of Grammar: Identifying and Fixing the Ten Most Frequent Grammatical Errors
Author: William B. Bradshaw, PhD
Publisher: Synergy Books (July 6, 2010)