Says Who?
$29.00
A kinder, funner usage guide to the ever-changing English language and a useful tool for both the grammar stickler and the more colloquial user of English, from linguist and veteran professor Anne Curzan

"I was bowled over, page after page, by the author's fine ear for our language and her openhearted erudition. I learned a lot, and I couldn't have enjoyed myself more."--Benjamin Dreyer, New York Times bestselling author of Dreyer's English

Our use of language naturally evolves and is a living, breathing thing that reflects who we are. Says Who? offers clear, nuanced guidance that goes beyond "right" and "wrong" to empower us to make informed language choices. Never snooty or scoldy (yes, that's a "real" word!), this book explains where the grammar rules we learned in school actually come from and reveals the forces that drive dictionary editors to label certain words as slang or unacceptable.

Linguist and veteran English professor Anne Curzan equips readers with the tools they need to adeptly manage (a split infinitive?! You betcha!) formal and informal writing and speaking. After all, we don't want to be caught wearing our linguistic pajamas to a job interview any more than we want to show up for a backyard barbecue in a verbal tux, asking, "To whom shall I pass the ketchup?" Curzan helps us use our new knowledge about the developing nature of language and grammar rules to become caretakers of language rather than gatekeepers of it. Applying entertaining examples from literature, newspapers, television, and more, Curzan welcomes usage novices and encourages the language police to lower their pens, showing us how we can care about language precision, clarity, and inclusion all at the same time.

With lively humor and humanity, Says Who? is a pragmatic and accessible key that reveals how our choices about language usage can be a powerful force for equity and personal expression. For proud grammar sticklers and self-conscious writers alike, Curzan makes nerding out about language fun.

ISBN: 
9780593444092
Author: 
Binding: 
Hardcover
Publication Date: 
March 26, 2024