Tuesday, February 08, 2011

"The Glamour of Grammar" a Helpful Book

In this occasionally humorous, more often racy, and frequently insightful book, Roy Peter Clark settles many debates about age-old grammatical arguments on issues such as composing fragments, using serial commas, splitting infinitives, beginning sentences with conjunctions like "and" or "but," and ending sentences with prepositions. Also, his sensible tips on style, including a review of left-, mid-, and right-branching cumulative sentences, are helpful for developing writers. If you can forgive Clark's alternately self-absorbed anecdotes and pedantic narrative, you will get a lot from The Glamour of Grammar: A Guide to the Magic and Mystery of Practical English, especially since he favors more a descriptive than a prescriptive approach to grammar.

Clark shares some of my thoughts on the grammar snobs who hold to ludicrous, arbitrary rules of style, so I will write about some in the coming posts.