Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Book Review: The Big Ten of Grammar by William B. Bradshaw, PhD

When I was asked to review The Big Ten of Grammar by William B. Bradshaw, PhD, I didn't think it would be very useful for me, a professional writer and editor. The goal of the book is to point out ten grammatical errors that are frequently made and easy to correct. I figured I'd already know all these rules and wouldn't learn anything new. But I decided to review the book, since I thought it might be helpful to my followers and other readers who may not have a professional background.

Sadly, despite my profession, I actually learned quite a bit from The Big Ten of Grammar. I will preface this by saying that I do not have an English degree; my degrees are in communications and marketing. Therefore, the last time I had a grammar lesson was about 20 years ago. I expect someone with an English degree may already know all of the rules outlined by Dr. Bradshaw. But I found it useful, and I think others would as well. I especially like the way he provides several clear examples for each of the ten rules. He also provides bonus material at the end, covering the use of whom vs. who and formation of plurals and possessives.

I will admit that I disagreed with a couple of the rules in The Big Ten of Grammar. For example, the rule he outlines about use of "he" vs. "him" is grammatically correct, but very formal. I think knowing the rule is fine if you're going to take a grammar test, but I cannot imagine an instance where I would say "No one can run as fast as he." It just doesn't sound right. I appreciate knowing, now, that "No one can run as fast as him" is incorrect. But I would replace it with "No one can run as fast as he can." It just sounds better with "can" at the end. I also disagree with his insistance on serial commas, but that's mostly because I've followed the AP Style Guide for almost ten years. I know my opinion on that is not popular!

Overall, I think The Big Ten of Grammar is an excellent, easy-to-read and easy-to-use reference. I'd recommend it to pretty much everyone ~ students, professionals, bloggers. It would be a handy reference to have on hand.

My Rating: 4/5

This review was written based on a copy of The Big Ten of Grammar that I received from Phenix & Phenix Literary Publicists in exchange for an honest review.

1 comment:

  1. Too funny, Julie, but yet again I have this review coming up also! Cool timing. And I liked it, too.


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