The jokey, conversational style of the Complete Idiot's Guide series is better suited to some of its many subjects than to others, but for the Guide to Grammar and Style, it works. This book might not be appropriate for professional proofreaders in search of the definitive use of the en dash, but it is a solid, amusing volume for those who daydreamed through grade school and would like to brush up on the fundamentals. Puns, silly humor, and hyperbole abound, but so do the entertaining quotations from beloved masters of the English language that author Laurie E. Rozakis has managed to dig up. For every "The rules of standard written English are ... more frightening than a sail on the Titanic," there is an amusing tidbit such as this one, courtesy of Calvin Trillin: "Whom is a word invented to make everyone sound like a butler. Nobody who is not a butler has ever said it out loud without feeling just a little bit weird." For every "Like my thighs, the distinction between that and which is becoming less firm," we have someone such as James Thurber to show us how to break a rule in style. "When I split an infinitive," Thurber is said to have admonished a meddlesome editor, "it is going to damn well stay split!" The text is highly energetic, and Rozakis cuts to the chase. For instance, she summarizes one chapter this way: "Don't be a sexist pig; ditch doublespeak; end euphemisms; can clichés." And she offers us these wise words, from Thomas Jefferson: "The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do."
With this guide you'll gain what you need to be a great communicator at home and on the job. It provides solid information on grammatical rules and how and when to use them, friendly advice for adding variety and style to your writing, and tips, definitions, and warnings to help you along the way.