SUMMARY: grammar handbooks

Subject: SUMMARY: grammar handbooks
From: "Rock, Megan" <Megan -dot- Rock -at- fanucrobotics -dot- com>
To: 'Marcia Hansen' <webdever -at- yahoo -dot- com>, 'Dana Ditomaso' <dana -at- caribousystems -dot- com>, "'AKearney -at- eagle -dot- org'" <AKearney -at- eagle -dot- org>, "'NZjaba -at- phi -dot- com'" <NZjaba -at- phi -dot- com>, "'marsha_howard -at- peoplesoft -dot- com'" <marsha_howard -at- peoplesoft -dot- com>, 'Mike Adams' <Mike_Adams -at- summithq -dot- com>, "Techwr-l (E-mail)" <TECHWR-L -at- LISTS -dot- RAYCOMM -dot- COM>, 'Jill Waite' <jwaite -at- criticaldevices -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 26 Sep 2000 08:35:43 -0400

First of all, many thanks to everyone who responded! I have not yet decided
which book to purchase, but your input has been most helpful.

The Harbrace College Handbook came in first with seven people recommending
it.
Strunk and White came in second with four people recommending it.
The Transitive Vampire came in third with two people recommending it.


Here are all of the responses:


The Harbrace College Handbook (ISBN 0-15-503948-2)

I think that "The Harbrace College Handbook" is an excellent grammar

resource.

Hodgess' Harbrace College Handbook -- small and powerful

From my perspective, the most complete and user-friendly grammar book is the
Harbrace College Handbook. It doesn't assume the reader has vast prior
knowledge of the subject like so many grammar books do.

When I was in college - oh so many years ago - we used something called "The
Harbrace Handbook."

I recommend Hodges' Harbrace Handbook (published by Harcourt
Brace--thirteenth edition is ISBN 0-15-508132-2).

Anything from Harcourt Brace's series.

There is the old stand-by, Strunk and White.

I like Strunk and White's Elements of Style. It's short, so it's not
intimidating...Another thing you could look at would be an Advanced English
as a Second Language textbook. There is one called Understanding and Using
English Grammar by Shirley Azar, I think. There's another one called
Communicating What You Mean.

strunk and white has a good concise one.

There are several college websites that offer excellent grammar and usage
rules. Even the Strunk and White grammar guide is, in its entirety, on the
'net. If you search using keywords, "grammar," or "punctuation" you'll be
successful. There is one website (I have the link at home) that has
professionals respond to your emails regarding grammar.

Look for a book called "The Transitive Vampire" (or maybe it's
Intransitive?) at Amazon.

The Deluxe Transitive Vampire "The Ultimate Handbook of Grammar for the
Innocent, the Eager, and the Doomed." Published by Pantheon Books, ISBN
0-679-41860-1. The cover price is listed as $22

I recommend "The Gregg Reference Manual" Ninth Edition. It's very helpful
and a pleasure to use.

I recommend The Little, Brown Handbook and, esp. for your husband but also
for you, English 3200. The latter is the best
damned all-in-one grammar lesson and exercise book I've run across.
Amazonesque info: English 3200: A Programed Course in Grammar and Usage |
Third Edition with Index (1981) | Joseph C. Blumenthal | Harcourt Brace
Jovanovich

I actually grabbed my ninth grade grammar and composition book--Basic
English Skills--when visiting my parents a few years ago. Though I would
never keep it on my desk at work (not because I'm embarassed to have it, but
because of the teenage graffiti--'90 RULES!), it's a great basic reference.

Try The Bedford Handbook, Fifth Edition by Diana Hacker.

Understanding English Grammar, Martha Koln, Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc,
New York, 1982.

The Little, Brown Handbook. H. Ramsey Fowler and Jane E. Arron.

Try Prentice Hall Reference guide to Grammar and Usage by Muriel Harris.

I (and a number of other Prentice-Hall writers) quietly used the Harbrace
College Handbook, because it was better than our reference guides. :)

The book is called "English Simplified" produced by HarpCollins, it's a 40
page, 8.5x11.5 book designed for Canadian Highschool. I use the Second
Canadian Edition by Arnold Keller. The book is credited to Blanche Ellsworth
and revised by John A. Higgens. ISBN: 0-06-041908-3

A very handly little book that I like to give to my SMEs, since there are
times when they forget grammar rules, too: Jan Venolia, Write Right! $6.95
at just about any bookstore.

I'd recommend "A Writer's Reference" by Diana Hacker.

There are tons, Megan... I've got 2 of them on my shelf even as I write:
(since I used to teach college english, I used this:) O'Hare & Kline: The
Modern Writer's Handbook (OHare is from Ohio State where I used to teach.)
ISBN: 0-02-389170-x, Macmillan.

The Beacon Handbook, 2nd edition, Robert Perrin, Houghton Mifflin publishers

I recommend "Woe is I" by Patricia T. O'Conner. She covers all the basics
but with humor, which makes it fun to read. I keep a copy of it on my desk
at work and have referred to it a number of times. Much easier to use than
the Chicago Manual of Style..

The simplest thing would be for your husband to go to the college bookstore
and buy a copy of whatever handbook is used for the freshman composition
course.

---
The definitive book is Quirck, Greenbaum, Leech and Svartvik "A Grammar of
Contemporary English". Thick, heavy, expensive, comprehensive ... published
about 1970 with a second edition (perhaps third?) since.

The 70's edition had two spinoffs, each by two of the original authors.
I don't recall who did which.

One was "A University Grammar of English". I had it as a text in an
undergrad course on English syntax. We didn't go deep enough to need the
bigger book. This might suit you, but emphasises analysis of how the
language works, rather than being a usage handbook.

The other spinoff was mainly written for foreign learners of English at
intermediate to advanced level, was called something like "Functional
English Grammar", was the cheapest of the three, had lots of examples.
Look at it too.
---


Megan E. Rock
Technical Writer
megan -dot- rock -at- fanucrobotics -dot- com

All views expressed are entirely my own and are not necessarily shared by my
friends, relatives, co-workers, or employer.










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