Monday, May 11, 2015

Between You and Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen

I'm a little bit of a grammar person.  I used to think I was more of a grammar person. After all, I attended school when English was a subject we spent time on every day.  I have fond memories of copying sentences out of our textbook and choosing the correct verb.  

Now that I have read Confessions of a Comma Queen I know that I am very certainly not a grammar person and I have a lot to learn about the English language.

Although I really enjoyed Between You & Me, Norris almost lost me a few times:

"The Latinate term for subjective is nominative, which is easy even if you don't know Latin, because to nominate, in English, is to name and a noun is always the name of something. But not all verbs can be the verb "to be" (although there are some that behave that same way), and nouns don't always stay in the subjective case.  It all depends on the model of the sentence (85)."

I'll admit to being nearly clueless to all of this, but then she would grab me again and it would be alright.

Despite the fact that I had to do a little thinking, I really enjoyed this book. 

I have fond memories of teaching serial commas to my elementary students.  Now, finally, with Norris' help I understand how the serial comma has changed - something I have always suspected.

And, while some people may not find word breaks and hyphens exciting, I was  entertained by Norris' discussion about them.

Perhaps my favorite portion was the pronunciation discussion where Norris offers some input on how various words are pronounced - and mispronounced.  Unfortunately I suffer from making some of the same mistakes that Norris also found herself making, and chuckling at others who were actually pronouncing the word correctly (I'm thinking de-TRY-tus vs. DET-ri-tus specifically.  Who knew?). 

Between You and Me is a book for people who love words and anyone who plans on using the English language in their lifetime. 

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