Thursday, August 2, 2012

Review: Grammar Girl's 101 Troublesome Words You'll Master in No Time by Mignon Fogarty


Millions of people around the world communicate better thanks to Mignon Fogarty, aka Grammar Girl, whose top-rated weekly grammar podcast has been downloaded more than 40 million times. Now she's turning her attention to solving your worst problems-one troublesome word at a time.
Are you feeling "all right" or "alright"? Does "biweekly" mean twice a week or every two weeks? Do you run a gauntlet or a gantlet? Is a pair of twins four people or two?
The English language is always changing, and that means we are left with words and phrases that are only sort of wrong (or worse, have different definitions depending on where you look them up). How do you know which to use? Grammar Girl to the rescue! This handy reference guide contains the full 411 on 101 words that have given you trouble before-but will never again.
Full of clear, straightforward definitions and fun quotations from pop culture icons such as Gregory House and J. K. Rowling, as well as from classical writers such as Mark Twain and Benjamin Franklin, this highly-useable guidebook takes the guesswork out of your writing, so you'll never be at a loss for words again.


While not as irritating as wrong grammar, wrong word usage can be pretty annoying sometimes.

Grammar Girl's 101 Troublesome Words You'll Master in No Time explains the proper usage of the words based on different styles (APA, Chicago Manual of Style, etc.). It also gives examples and advice on what you should do if you plan to use the particular word.

Most of the words that were discussed in the book are words whose proper usage is familiar to me. However, since I'm a bookworm, I might not be the target audience for this book. I see the book becoming very popular with the college crowd, though, and also those who are trying to improve their writing skills.

What is unusual but nice about this book is that the examples are quotes taken from books, movies, and articles. This makes the book more appealing to the younger generation as they can see how the word or phrase is used in the "real world".

Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Griffin for the e-ARC.


  1. It considers different styles so you can determine how you should use the word depending on the style you or your editors prefer.
  2. The examples are not boring and generic.
  3. The entries are well-organized.


  1. Some of the words may already be familiar to the readers.

Your team is dealing with the Great Mayonnairse Panic of 2007. I'm worried it might spread to other continents. - Lisa Edelstein as Dr. Lisa Cuddy in the TV series House M.D.

  1. You get confused by some words and their proper usage.
  2. You don't like boring grammar books.
  3. You want to be a better writer.




Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.

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