Category Archives: you need to know grammar

Grammar Girl’s 101 Troublesome Words You’ll Master in No Time

Grammar Girl’s 101 Troublesome Words You’ll Master in No Time
Mignon Fogarty
Published by St. Martin’s Griffin
144 pages
Available on
Thanks to NetGalley for the preview
5 / 5 cupcakes

As a high school English teacher, I owe a debt of gratitude to Mignon Fogarty, aka Grammar Girl. Her mission – and thank the Oxford comma that she accepted it – is to improve our understanding nd usage of grammar. This handy book walks you through 101 words that we typically confuse or misuse. What I like about it is that she explains what we SHOULD do, and she includes quotes from pop culture. For example, when discussing the difference between “out loud” and “aloud”, Fogarty includes quotes from Annie Lamott (!!!) and J. R. R. Tolkein.

My favorite? “They.” As in “who the hell?” You know those times when you have no idea if you’re talking about a him or a her? And how when those times occur, you tend to say “they,” even though you may be discussing a single person? Fogarty says to “rewrite your sentences to avoid using they as a singular pronoun. Making the subject plural is often an easy solution.” And then she quotes Jane Austen as an example! SWEET!

I do love Jane Austen. I also love Mark Twain, who did NOT love Jane Austen, going so far as to say that my beloved Jane makes him “detest all her people without reserve.” He even declared that reading Pride and Prejudice caused him to “dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin bone.” I am all astonishment.

But I digress.

This is a fantastic reference book for those of us who like to think that we use proper grammar at all times. Let’s just say that while Mignon Fogarty gives people like me a complex, she also improves our communication skills.

1 Comment

Filed under reference, you need to know grammar