“A guide to language for fun and spite.”
Ms. Casagrande is the author of a weekly grammar column in a community news supplement to the Los Angeles Times. Over the years, she has gotten many letters from “grammar snobs” who go out of their way to rudely correct her grammar. In most cases, these snobs are simply wrong. Her book is an attempt to educate the people who care about grammar about the grammar rules that matter — as well as a bunch that don’t. Armed with this information, anyone can fight back when attacked by a grammar snob.
Although I’m only four chapters into the book, I’m thoroughly enjoying it. The reason: Ms. Casagrande’s excellent example sentences. Some of them are hilariously funny. And the book uses examples from a pop culture, including (so far) The Simpsons and Star Trek (the original). That help makes the subject matter approachable for the average reader. In other words, you don’t need to be a grammar snob or word nerd — or a wannabe — to enjoy the book.
The book is both educational and fun to read — my favorite kind of book. The short chapters make it something you can pick up and put down whenever time permits. (Something my husband might enjoy as bathroom reading, if he liked to read about grammar. Alas, he doesn’t.)
So if you’re wondering what I’m doing today, as the patio thermometer reads 106.5° F (at 1:10 PM) and Mike has just gone off to see The Da Vinci Code again (he thinks the movie might be better if viewed from a seat farther back in the theater) — you know. I’m learning how to fight back when attacked by one of those mean-spirited grammar snobs.