Word Nerd Wednesday: What does Grandma taste like?

You’ve no doubt heard the grammar lesson on commas which begins with the farcical one liner, “Let’s eat Grandma”.  It’s universal, and a hilarious way to teach the importance of proper comma usage.

One of my favorite types of books is a funny, readable grammar book which tackles common English language mistakes without the stodgy feel of a textbook. I recently picked up a copy of The Grammatically Correct Handbook at our local used bookstore and am enjoying it quite a lot. I am always surprised to run into rules I didn’t know that I didn’t know. This book, which I am still reading, inspired a recollection of how many other cute yet functional grammar books I’ve read over the years. Here are just a few:

  • Woe is I: The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English–Like every book on this list, this book is easy to read and entertaining. I’m operating from the assumption that someone other than I find grammar entertaining. Even if you don’t, this book shoots straight, which brings me to the next book on the list.
  • Eats, Shoots, & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation– Lynne Truss makes punctuation fun by giving you a page-side seat as she offers uproarious examples of commas gone wild. It’s an excellent way to teach punctuation to your kids. Even if they go to school, the grammar education isn’t very good, and punctuation knowledge is even worse, so grab this book and take the drudgery out of it.
  • Between You and Me– This one is more geared toward adult writing mistakes, given the references that the average millennial will not recognize, but it’s funny. Worth a read if you’re a blogger or writer of any kind. Yeah, I know we all have Grammarly now (I have a subscription to ProWritingAid on my computer), but what happens to your writing if the Internet goes ‘kaput!’ tomorrow? Huh?
  • Write Right: A Desktop Digest of Grammar, Punctuation, and Style– This book tackles all the steps of the writing process, while also tinged with lightness and humor. It’s not as entertaining as some aforementioned books, but it’s a darn sight better than your 7th grade English book.

Those are just a few of the books tackling grammar that I have enjoyed, and I have more still to explore.

Do you have any favorite books that you used to help you as you improve your use of the English language, in speech as well as writing?

10 thoughts on “Word Nerd Wednesday: What does Grandma taste like?

  1. hearthie says:

    I do NOT have Grammarly. I have enough mechanical opinions about my writing as I write for work and am forced to use active voice and a 4th grade reading level (or possibly lower) to make the SEO program happy. Nope, Nope, Nope.

    That said, how does this deal with semicolons etc? I have a kid who just doesn’t get the finer points, and since I just write the way I read… it’s never a big problem for me. 😀


  2. Bike Bubba says:

    For me, I did OK in ordinary grammar classes, and I’ve always been blessed by The Elements of Style by Strunk & White, but I dare suggest that the way I’ve really learned to use the language semi-properly is by reading well-written literature and such. That, and my career: though I’ve theoretically been an engineer, I’ve always done a fair amount of writing. A high point for my writing was when a coworker who was retiring responded to my “farewell” email by noting that the typo he’d found in it was the first one he’d ever caught from me.

    I’m not really that good, but it sure felt good to read that.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. smkoseki says:

    I’m still thinking on the last post, so I thought the “Let’s eat Grandma” quip was referencing that lesson on natural law Clarence Thomas gave to that loser senator. I guess we have gone so far crazy today we can’t find much other than cannibalism everyone agrees is still obviously wrong. Unless I’m late to the cannibalism party; I did expect eating Grandma long before partial-birth abortion or changing the sex of poor children. But what do I know…

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Crystal Keller says:

    Thank you, THANK YOU! Guess what Jaden gets to do this summer? You’ve just given me a great summer reading book list.

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

  5. Bike Bubba says:

    Just for reference, back in the 1980s, my fellow college students and I would greet each other with “hugs not drugs, and just say no to cannibalism.” Never anticipated that our gentle ribbing of Nancy Reagan would be appropriate in this way…..

    Liked by 1 person

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