Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Lovely Review of Things That Make Us [Sic]

This comes from the Freelance Writing Job Network's Grammar Guide, Dawn Allcot:

Have you ever read a book whose ideas resonated so strongly, you felt compelled to call up everyone you know and tell them about it? You want to throw up your fist and shout, “Yes! Yes! That’s exactly how it is!”

I often feel this way about novels (Atlas Shrugged is my latest infatuation), and sometimes about business and marketing books. (Seth Godin’s Purple Cow was the last one I read that had that effect.)

As much of a logophile as I am, rarely does a grammar book hit me in such a way. Until I read Things That Make Us [Sic] by Martha Brockenbrough, founder of the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar.

Not only does Brockenbrough know her grammar, she’s a master wordsmith. I found myself reading words I haven’t used in years, and learning a few new ones in the process. She never uses a big word when a smaller one will do, but has a knack for choosing exactly the right word at the right time. Her sentences are lyrical works of art, evoking emotion as they teach. Speaking of teaching — I learned more than a few interesting grammar rules I didn’t know before. (Hard to believe, right?)

Read the whole thing

I hope that makes you want to buy it--or at least check it out of your library. Amazon has just decided to stop carrying Macmillan titles (St. Martin's, the publisher, is owned by Macmillan). If you're able to, please buy it at a local, independent bookstore, as these places need all they help they can get. I will happily send you a signed bookplate. Just e-mail me at martha AT


Mark Pennington said...

I've just completed an article citing 21 assumptions that most of us make with respect to teaching grammar and then I follow with 4 simple steps that ensure you are teaching a balanced and effective grammar program. I would love to read your readers' reactions. Find the article at

C. Allyn Pierson said...

Martha: I can't believe Amazon is no longer carrying Macmillan books! Qu'est-ce que c'est?

PS: You need to change the "comments" label on the blog so that you don't end up with "1 comments." Perhaps "comment(s)?"

Martha Brockenbrough said...

Carey, can you change that? I will look into it.