Says who? : a kinder, funner usage guide for everyone who cares about words / Anne Curzan, Ph.D.
Book | Crown | 2024 | First edition.
2 holds on first copy returned of 10 copies

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Details

Edition
First edition.
Description
xiv, 319 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (pages [295]-310) and index.
Summary
"A kinder, funner usage guide to the ever-changing English language and a useful tool for both the grammar stickler and the more colloquial user of English, from linguist and veteran professor Anne Curzan. Our use of language naturally evolves and is a living, breathing thing that reflects who we are. Says Who? offers clear, nuanced guidance that goes beyond "right" and "wrong" to empower us to make informed language choices. Never snooty or scoldy (yes, that's a "real" word!), this book explains where the grammar rules we learned in school actually come from and reveals the forces that drive dictionary editors to label certain words as slang or unacceptable. Linguist and veteran English professor Anne Curzan equips readers with the tools they need to adeptly manage (a split infinitive?! You betcha!) formal and informal writing and speaking. After all, we don't want to be caught wearing our linguistic pajamas to a job interview any more than we want to show up for a backyard barbecue in a verbal tux, asking, "To whom shall I pass the ketchup?" Curzan helps us use our new knowledge about the developing nature of language and grammar rules to become caretakers of language rather than gatekeepers of it. Applying entertaining examples from literature, newspapers, television, and more, Curzan welcomes usage novices and encourages the language police to lower their pens, showing us how we can care about language precision, clarity, and inclusion all at the same time. With lively humor and humanity, Says Who? is a pragmatic and accessible key that reveals how our choices about language usage can be a powerful force for equity and personal expression. For proud grammar sticklers and self-conscious writers alike, Curzan makes nerding out about language fun"-- Provided by publisher.
Contents
Introduction -- Part 1. Who's in charge here? : Inner grammando vs. inner wordie showdown ; Ain't: what gets into dictionaries, and how ; Double negatives: how rules become rules ; "PC" language: why emotions run high -- Part 2. What does that word mean? : The funnest chapter ; Verbing ; Feeling hopeful about hopefully ; Quite literally ; Because like ; Gender-neutral chairs -- Part 3. What's the difference? : Ask, aks, and asterisk ; Counting less/fewer things ; Data and other disputed plurals ; Different from/than between and among ; Driving safe or safely ; Well, I'm good ; Having proved or proven it -- Part 4. Which pronoun to pick? : The singularity of they ; For who(m) the bell tolls ; Between you and me/I/myself ; None is/are confusing ; Which-hunting -- Part 5. Where does that punctuation go? : Commas, commas, and commas ; Rolling stops with semicolons ; The wild west of dashes and hyphens ; When it's its and other apostrophe conundrums ; Bequeathing capital letters -- Part 6. How stylish is that sentence : To boldly split infinitives ; Prepositions not to end a sentence with ; When and can start a sentence ; The perceived danger of danglers ; Passives were corrected ; Why writing doesn't "flow" -- Epilogue: navigating grammandos and good sense.
Subject
Genre/Form
Other Form:
Online version: Curzan, Anne. Says who? First edition New York : Crown, 2024 9780593444108 (DLC) 2023048687
ISBN
9780593444092 (hardcover ; acid-free paper)
0593444094 (hardcover ; acid-free paper)
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