Thursday, October 15, 2015

May I Quote You on That? by Stephen Spector

May I Quote You on That? 
A Guide to Grammar and Usage 
by Stephen Spector 


We all use language in different ways, depending on the situations we find ourselves in. In formal contexts we are usually expected to use a formal level of Standard English-the English codified in grammars, usage guides, and dictionaries.

In May I Quote You on That? Stephen Spector offers a new approach to learning Standard English grammar and usage. The product of Spector's forty years of teaching courses on the English language, this book makes the conventions of formal writing and speech easier and more enjoyable to learn than traditional approaches usually do. Each lesson begins with humorous, interesting, or instructive illustrative quotations from writers, celebrities, and historical figures. Mark Twain appears alongside Winston Churchill, Yogi Berra, Woody Allen, Jerry Seinfeld, Stephen Colbert, Oprah, Lady Gaga, and many others. These quotations allow readers to infer the rules and word meanings from context. And if they stick in readers' memory, they can serve as models for the rules they exemplify.

The lessons then offer short essays, written in a conversational style, on the history of the rules or the words being discussed. But because English is constantly changing, the essays offer not only the traditional rules of Standard English, but also the current opinions of usage panelists, stylists, and language specialists. When rules are controversial, Spector offers advice about stylistic choices. A companion website features a workbook with practice drills.

This book will appeal to anyone who wants to write well. It's aimed at those who are applying to college, taking the SAT, or writing a job application, an essay, or anything else that requires clear and effective communication.

"You may find that some of these quotations are memorable. That's good, because if you remember them, you can model your own sentences on them." And it's true.

This book is based on quotations to help you understand the grammar rules through examples and famous words. But it's also a lot more.

Sure it helps you to know how to use "Further" or "Farther", "Pendantic" or "Didactic" and give you tools to remember when to use "May" or "Can": "Here is a rule that I'll bet you've heard: if you can do something, you have the ability to do it; if you may do it, you have the permission."

But it also help you with punctuation if you are into editing and using the correct abreviations. You learn about the common nowadays mistakes. Like with "Kudos" that is a singular Latin noun, everybody thinks is plural. :-)

Honestly, it's not a book you read before bed. But It's one, I was enjoying opening in the Métro to improve, review my vocabulary or just to enjoy the quotes.
I've also appreciated all the side informations given by the author to make the grammar fun. It's like someone is telling you an historical or a practical story that you are able to understand easily.

It's a really cool read if you are into words and learning how to use them correctly.
A great Christmas present too.

Arc provided by Netgalley. I received this book in exchange of a fair and honest review.

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