Are you someone who gripes that English was always your worst subject in school? Do you say that even today, you can't tell a clause from a conjunction from a colon; you always write "their" when you should have written "there"; you're never sure if that thing that goes in words like don't and we're is an apostrophe or a comma; and you get shivers just thinking about when to use "who" and when to use "whom"?
And your writing — well, forget about it! Your papers were covered in so much red ink that your instructors should have had stock in companies that manufactured it. What did "not parallel" or "dangling modifier" mean, for heaven's sake? And what exactly were those transitional words you were supposed to add, not to mention the clichés you were to delete and the fragments you were to fix? Grrr!.
If any of this rings true, The Everything
First, let's have a little history. In Western culture, the study of grammar goes back many years — to the days of the ancient Greeks. As time passed, Greek influenced Latin, and Latin in turn influenced the Romance languages that sprang from it. English developed separately from Latin but was influenced in some ways by it. Even after it ceased to be an everyday language, Latin was considered the language of the learned because it was still used in churches and scientific circles.
In the early days of modern English, writers hoped the language would be more standardized and refined, so they began publishing books of grammar. English, of course, traveled across the Atlantic with settlers who came to the colonies, and as schools here were established and grew, so did grammar studies. The works of one-time colonist Lindley Murray, the “Father of English Grammar,” became major forces in grammar for many years. (Incidentally, Murray had a little trouble with the American Revolution — he was a Loyalist, and he fled to England after the United States won the war — but the books he published there were even more popular in the land he had abandoned.) Books on grammar and writing have been published ever since.
All of this brings us to your study of grammar and writing, using The Everything
The middle of the book details many types of writing that may interest you or may be a requirement for your academic life or your employment. In this section, you'll also find a number of ways to devise and develop ideas for your writing, as well as suggestions for revising and proofing your material to make it shine.
New to this edition of The Everything
Interspersed in all the chapters are addresses of Internet sites that provide interactive quizzes (but don't worry — no grades!) on different segments in the chapters.
At the end of each chapter is a section called Checkpoint, which you can use to test yourself on various points highlighted in the chapter. (Again — no grades!)
So, are you ready to overcome those leftover fears or uncertainties? Come on and jump right in — the grammar's fine (or it will be soon)!