I borrowed this book from my son and read it several months before I started writing this blog. I thoroughly enjoyed it they way Patricia T. O’Conner provides writing tips in a readable way. This book almost reads like a good novel.
I liked it so much; I recently purchased a hardcover version for my bookshelf and often refer to it for tips. Words Fail Me is not just about grammar and punctuation, O’Conner provides information on the writing process in a humorous way. An excerpt from the inside cover says a great deal:
I was intrigued by the title of the book and the humor that it promised. I could picture a panda having a meal at a restaurant, shooting up the place and leaving. Eats, Shoots & Leaves left me wanting.
Lynne Truss uses funny examples to teach punctuation. Even with humor, punctuation is a dry subject and I found myself struggling to finish the book. I wondered what was wrong with me, as this book is a New York Times #1 Best Seller. I am a Monty Python fan, so it cannot be the British humor.
I read an earlier book by Patricia T. O’Conner (Words Fail Me) and was anxious to read more of her work. I should have been forewarned by the subtitle of this book; “The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English.”
As I read Woe Is I, I was transported back to my grade school days (we did not have elementary schools way back then) and English taught by Sister Mary Somethingorother. I half expected for someone to show up with a ruler and smack my hands. It is one of the few books that I could not finish.
I was going to call this Dyson (that fancy sweeper) to allow you to imagine that sucking sound as you think about the amount of money that will be sucked out of our wallets. I could have also called it “No Apologies Necessary” or “Pay No Attention to What I Said Before” or “Look at How Much I Can Get for $26/Month” or “They’re Stupid and Will Accept What We Tell Them.”
Having read Fish, I could not help buying a copy of this book when I saw it. It did not hurt that I found a copy miss-priced on the clearance shelves at Half Price Books. I got my copy for $2.00. I was not a cheat; I pointed out their error, but they sold it to me anyway.
(Sung to the The Candy Man as made famous by Sammy Davis, Jr.)
Obama Man, hey Obama Man
Alright Everybody, Gather round
The Obama Man is here
What kind of porky do you want?
Sweet mortgage? A brand new bridge?
New jobs? Anything you want
You’ve come to the right man because
I’m the Obama man!
Who can take a crisis?
(Who can take a crisis?)
Sprinkle it with fear
Cover it with stimulus and a miracle or two
As I was thinking about the “stimulus” package that our wonderful elected officials are about to strap to our backs, this famous song popped into my head.
And it’s magic, if the music is groovy
It makes you feel happy like an old-time movie
Politicians are telling us that they know what is best for us. How we should stop talking about this and support their plan. If we do not act now things will get worse. Support us and we can move on with a smile.
March 15, 2009 Update – Here we go again. The US House and Senate have graciously, no generously agreed to give up thier pay raise. Lawmakers were knocking each other over to get “mic” time to show their great leadership. Unfortunately, the raise that they agreed was not due until 2010. They will accept the raise this year. This is a quote from Bloomberg News (Sorry, but I could not find the link):
“Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman, Daniel Inouye, a Hawaii Democrat, accused Vitter of ‘playing politics’ with his proposal (to eliminate all congressional pay raises). Inouye said, “Most Americans have a healthy understanding of the difference between a pay raise and a pay adjustment based on inflation.”
I think that this is now the second book in a row that I have read based on a recommendation by Glenn Beck. Maybe he will eventually get his own sticker like the Oprah Book Club, but I doubt it.
I had been reading some deeper books lately and was looking forward to an adventure novel. When I started reading Ghost Plane, it was not what I expected. Stephen Greyprovides a disturbing tale of the United States’ involvement in torture as part of the war on terror.
Is there a difference between men and women? Boys and girls? I am not a degreed sociologist; I am just a parent who has raised some of each. There is a difference. One gender is not better than the other; they are just different.
It is, however, politically incorrect to say that boys and girls are different and many have found themselves in trouble for making such statements. The most famous case that garnered national attention involved the President of Harvard University. Larry Summers was speakingat a symposium titled Diversifying the Science and Engineering Workforce: Women, Underrepresented Minorities, and their S. & E. Careers.