[16 December 2009]
While Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing is true to its title, offering advice for writers for every step of the process, from generating topic ideas to effective proofreading tips, this is not merely a reference book for writers. Most of the information applies equally to our daily conversation, concisely clarifying routine language-related issues and tackling those little bits of linguistic friction that rub us the wrong way, or perhaps should rub us the wrong way.
The book also examines contemporary language concerns, such as the increased use of “woman” in place of “female”: Nancy Pelosi’s election as Speaker of the House had many news agencies reporting that she was “the first woman Speaker of the House”, a phrase that sounded both awkward and incorrect since one would never say, “the first man Speaker of the House”. Fortunately, Fogarty chimed in and settled the matter. (As long as the gender is being used as an adjective, it should be “female”.)
Whether you are buying for a grammar-phobe seeking guidance, or a writer seeking a fun reference manual for frustrating recurring questions, Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing will likely satisfy.