Monday, September 23, 2013

English Like It Is / Richard Marsh

Reviewed by: BigAl

Genre: Non-Fiction

Approximate word count: 100-105,000 words

Kindle  US: YES  UK: YES  Nook: NO  Smashwords: NO  Paper: NO
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A former journalist, publisher, and “coffee house poet,” Richard Marsh is the author of several books ranging from novels, to poetry, to non-fiction like this one.

For more, visit the author’s website.


The English language doesn’t have a body governing what is and isn’t correct usage. Its nature is to change and evolve. That is both good (it makes the language adaptable to new words or for the meaning of a word to expand and evolve when needed due to a changing world) and bad, causing existing words with precise meanings to, through what the author calls “Contraction and Bleaching,” lose meaning and precision.

English Like It Is is a reference, of sorts. It isn’t a comprehensive usage guide, instead focusing mainly on words and phrases where the meaning as actually used is changing, sometimes for the better and sometimes not.


I have friends who think I’m a grammar nerd. I guess objecting to a comment on facebook that says something like “there gong too be out of my site soon,” is too fussy. Maybe I am, but if so I’m just an apprentice or grammar-nerd-in-training. Perusing English Like It Is drove that home for me.

Each entry in this book focuses on a specific subject, usually a single word, collection of related words, or a saying, and explores how it is used and misused. Each section discusses proper usage, common mistakes, and has examples from some major newspapers in the UK of the word being used in context, both correctly and not.

That the incorrect examples are so plentiful from sources where the example was composed by a professional wordsmith and approved by an editor who is presumably a expert on such things (the true grammar nerds) shows how hard it is to achieve perfection. But for the grammar-nerd-in-training, this volume should help.

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues.

Rating: **** Four stars


Karen Wojcik Berner said...

Nothing wrong with a grammar nerd. :)

BooksAndPals said...

Of course you would claim that, Karen. :)

Raquel Byrnes said...

This sounds like a great asset for authors.
Edge of Your Seat Romance

Vicki said...

"Nothing wrong with a grammar nerd. :)"

Grammar nerds… imagine where we'd be without them. :-)