National Grammar Day: Grammar books

Today is National Grammar Day! Hosted this year by Grammar Girl, aka Mignon Fogarty, hopefully the discourse this time around will be more civil — productive, even? As Fogarty says, “Language is something to be celebrated, and March 4 is the perfect day to do it. It’s not only a date, it’s an imperative: March forth on March 4 to speak well, write well, and help others do the same!” (My post from 2009.)

This year, I thought, rather than simply announcing this great day here (I have no reason, really, to get involved in a discussion about the pros and cons of grammar) I’d do something different.

So, without further ado, a list of grammar books (and no, these aren’t exactly textbooks, although I could perhaps make a list of those too, hmm …):

Grammar books I’ve read:

Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss

Grammar books on my wish list:

On the Dot: The Speck That Changed the World by Alexander Humez and Nicholas Humez

Things That Make Us (Sic): The Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar Takes on Madison Avenue, Hollywood, the White House, and the World by Martha Brockenbrough

I Judge You When You Use Poor Grammar: A Collection of Egregious Errors, Disconcerting Bloopers, and Other Linguistic Slip-Ups by Sharon Eliza Nichols (I think I’m still a member, albeit inactive, of this Facebook group)

The Grammar Devotional: Daily Tips for Successful Writing from Grammar Girl by Mignon Fogarty
I used to listen to Fogarty’s podcast.

Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing by Mignon Fogarty

The Curious Case of the Misplaced Modifier: How to Solve the Mysteries of Weak Writing by Bonnie Trenga
Good title, right?

Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English by Patricia T. O’Conner

Have you read any grammar books?

NOTE: I’m using a broad definition of grammar here. Punctuation may not exactly be the same thing as grammar, but it’s close enough.

If you’re more a person of action, John McIntyre has a list of tasks one can undertake in honor of National Grammar Day.


10 responses to “National Grammar Day: Grammar books

  1. I Judge You When You Use Poor Grammar is one I would like to read! I better watch my language (so to speak) today. See if I can’t take it up a notch….. I have little hope of this, but hey, I am going to try! 🙂

    Have a great day Hannah!

  2. I love grammar, seriously!

    Favorite books on the subject include Lapsing into a Comma by Bill Walsh and Artful Sentences: Syntax as Style by Virginia Tufte.

  3. I Judge You when You Use Poor Grammar sounds like an intriguing read. My BTT answer can be found here:

  4. Oh wow, I would either be your worst nightmare or your greatest challenge. LOL. Here’s my BTT.

  5. Great list! I’ll use that as a reference for my to-read stack. I loved: Eats, Shoots and Leaves / Woe Is I.

    I’ve also read these—some are more language than grammar though:
    >Literally the Best Language Book Ever, Paul Yeager
    >A Man of My Words and Comma Sense both by Richard Lederer
    >Eats, Shoots and Leaves for kids by Lynne Truss (so clever!)
    >Far from the Madding Gerund and Other Dispatches from the Language Log, Mark Liberman and Geoffrey K. Pullum
    >Um . . . Slips, Stumbles, and Verbal Blunders, and What They Mean, Michael Erard
    >The Genius of Language: Fifteen Writers Reflect on Their Mother Tongues, Wendy Lesser

  6. I tried to read Woe is I years ago but didn’t get far. I should give it another try.

  7. Yes, everyone should read that book about ums and uhs and slips of the tongue — nothing like it had ever been written, which is why I decided to write it. Unlike other books listed here, it’s not a book directly about how to speak more fluently, but it does explain why a variety of verbal blunders occur and what we make of them culturally. There’s even a chapter about where we get the notion that good speaking is umless.

    Right now I’m wrapping up work in my second book about hyperpolyglots, to be titled Babel No More, and published next year by Henry Holt in the US and Minumsa in Korea.

  8. I fully admit to being a total word nerd.

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