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Introduction: Confidence Is Sexy vii
Chapter 1 Know Thyself: Spelling 1
Chapter 2 It's Complicated: One Word, Two Words, or Three Words 21
Chapter 3 Quality Control: Words That Don't Make the Grade 29
Chapter 4 Missed Periods: Run-on Sentences 33
Chapter 5 More Than a Feeling: Commas 41
Chapter 6 I Do: Apostrophes 57
Chapter 7 Drumroll, Please: Colons 65
Chapter 8 Goldilocks and the Three Bars: En Dashes, Em Dashes, and Hyphens 71
Chapter 9 The Scarlet Punctuation Mark: The Ellipsis 75
Chapter 10 Mary Ann or Ginger: Punctuation with Quotation Marks 81
Chapter 11 That's Hot: Capitalization 85
Chapter 12 Freudian Slip: Using You 103
Chapter 13 How Old Do You Think I Am?: Numbers 109
Chapter 14 Keepin' It Real: Grammar Myth Busting 115
Chapter 15 Avoid Premature Ejaculation: Email Etiquette 123
Chapter 16 Looks Matter: Formatting Academic Papers, Letters, and Résumés 137
Chapter 17 Textual Healing: Proofreading 147
Answer Key 152
Posted June 16, 2013
Most people would rank reading a book on grammar right up there with getting a root canal or a colonoscopy. Might be necessary, but we probably wouldn't do it for the pleasure.
Using celebrities like Johnny Depp, celebrity break-ups like Brad and Jennifer, and sexy examples, Baranick presents grammar in a hilarious way that just may help it stick in our over-caffeinated, YouTubed, smartphoned, chasing-the-next-shiny-thing brains.
She makes the point that if we use "whorable spelling," our meaning may be vastly misconstrued. She suggests that choosing "the perfect email title is like the perfect first date outfit. It reveals just enough without giving too much away."
"Have you ever been in the middle of something and you're so excited that you don't want to stop because you're afraid that you will lose your mojo, so you just keep on going and going and going and the next thing you know you miss your period? That, my friends, is how must run-on sentences happen."
Her punctuation marks all have personalities. Commas are small and cute and curvy. Colons deserve a drumroll. Exclamation points and questions marks are like Mary Ann and Ginger from Gilligan's Island.
"Sometimes a period provides too much pause between these two sentences, but the comma doesn't provide quite enough. Luckily the period and the comma had a drunken one-night stand and produced this adorable little spawn they named the semicolon."
I'm pretty sure I still won't remember all the grammar spelling and punctuation rules here, but I won't mind looking them up again. Belongs on the bookshelf of all writers (and really, all PEOPLE who ever need to write a resume or email in the course of business).
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