I wasn’t really taught grammar at school. Not in English lessons, anyway. A friend who knows about such things explained that this was actually good practice, that English is not an inflected language, and that grammar is best taught when studying an inflected language such as German.
I think they’re probably right. I seem to have absorbed the rules of grammar from somewhere, I rarely get corrected by sub editors.
So I approached this book with a certain amount of suspicion. Yes, I’m interested in linguistics (as many coders are), but no, I’m not interested in the difference between the subjunctive and the indicative mood.
Or so I thought.
I can’t remember enjoying a book so much in ages
This would be a good book to dip into, but as I’m the sort of person who reads everything from beginning to end (including, when I was a child, a dictionary) I did just that.
And why not? Everything from coordinate adjectives to the vowel quadrilateral is explained clearly and simply. There are lots of top tips and random language facts to think about. The book even manages to squeeze in a brief history of language itself.
Not only that, the book is funny. Genuinely funny. Who’d have thought a passage on contrastive focus duplication could be so amusing? I even finally learned how to capitalise properly, something I’ve always been rather ashamed to admit I couldn’t do.
Oh yes, and I rather suspect this may be the first book on linguistics to feature Droylsden market.
The chances are if you’re reading this blog you’re either into coding or writing. I’m recommending this book to both techy types and writers. So much so that its now number seven on my list of Six Books Every Writer Should Read.
The Pointless Rules of English by M. Amelia Eikli and Lindsey Williams