Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing by Mignon Fogarty is not just a great reference guide. It is also a really fun book, liberating in its no-nonsense, quick but thorough explanations of essential grammar and usage points. You will find yourself rapidly paging through looking for all those grammar questions that plague you as you write. Ever been so unsure of the proper way to phrase something that you scrapped your sentence and came at it from another angle? Escape the uncertainty. Something you can't find in this text? Check out her website and search through posts and podcasts for the answer. Still can't find the answer? Write Fogarty. The author maintains that she would love to have more people correspond with her but many are afraid to expose their grammatical failings in view of the expert. She promises to stash the red pen while reading your inquiries.
For all of you still with me here, channeling your inner language geek, here are some indispensable things you will find in the book:
- Farther Than You've Ever Gone Before: Further Versus Farther
- How You Doin'?: Good Versus Well (might not be what you think)
- Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep
- I Want to Split Infinitives
- If I Only Had a Brain: Misplaced Modifiers
And the fun goes on from there. Check it out. No one has to see you if you don't want. You can be a closet grammarian.