"Grammar Stinks."

Subject: "Grammar Stinks."
From: "Gwen Fremonti" <gwen -dot- fremonti -at- primefactors -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 19 Sep 2002 14:38:09 -0700

Thus quoth my 12 year old boy child, who is taking a writing course (essays)
at our local homeschool resource center.

The course's recommended reference is "Elements of Style," which he doesn't
like, even though he really is the child of my very own body (at six he was
furious at E.B. White for killing off Charlotte; perhaps he never got over
it), nor is he impressed with "Pinckert's Practical Grammar," something I
bought years ago and still like. I have "On Writing Well" queued up next,
but at this point I'm not holding out much hope that he'll find it as
fascinating as I do. And no, I haven't ruled out sheer bloody-mindedness.

I've been looking at several books on Amazon:

The New Well-Tempered Sentence: A Punctuation Handbook for the Innocent, the
Eager, and the Doomed

The Deluxe Transitive Vampire: The Ultimate Handbook of Grammar for the
Innocent, the Eager, and the Doomed

Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe's Guide to Better English in Plain English

Sin and Syntax: How to Craft Wickedly Effective Prose

Does anyone have any experience with any of these books, or have another
favorite that I could recommend (or rather, present) to my son? I'm taking
him with me on a train trip next week, where he will be my captive audience
for many hours at a time and I'd like to purchase a good book before we
leave. He reads literature - and can discuss it verbally - at a 9th to 10th
grade level, but writing has always been a struggle for him. (Aside: I had
to laugh at the look on his face the other day when I told him it was
obvious he'd been copying off the internet because his paragraphs contained
punctuation. Topic for discussion: "Can you say 'plagiarism?'")

I realize that since this question isn't related to the work I get paid for
it may be considered off-topic, though I hope only mildly so, so please do
respond off-list if you think it more appropriate.

Thanks in advance -

Gwen Fremonti
Sr. Technical Writer
Prime Factors, Inc.

"Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons
for you are crunchy and good with ketchup."

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