Read: The Glamour of Grammar

Not too long ago I stumbled upon the observation that “Grammar books [are] read principally by keen foreigners.” Clark’s “The Glamour of Grammar”, however, seems also to have attracted a large audience within the English-as-native-speakers crowd.

In 50 short chapters Clark offers his observations and advise on grammar in the most broadest sense possible. Thus Glamour is not only about punctuation, words, and word order; it is about meaning, rhetoric, and effect. Most of the chapters feel like longer blog-posts. The language is more casual; there are more examples than rules, and rules are only introduced to show the effect of breaking them; each chapter can stand alone and has its own take-away-message, or Keepsakes as Clark lists them at the end of each chapter; and “grammazons” are not spared the occasional criticism. And, indeed, Clark has a blog on writing where he published his ideas before he put them into the book. It seems he was not spared criticism as well… and used the feedback he got to improve the final version of his book.

All in all, even though Glamour may not be the ultimate grammar guide, not the last book you will need on grammar (it’s about as much on rhetoric as it is about grammar), it is entertaining and instructive. After having read the book, the link between glamour and grammar does not seem so far-fetched any more.

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