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The Transitive Vampire

af Karen Elizabeth Gordon

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
6591135,462 (3.99)21
  1. 00
    Sin and Syntax: How to Craft Wickedly Effective Prose af Constance Hale (Nickelini)
    Nickelini: Even more readable than Karen Elizabeth Gordon and also very funny. And easier to learn from, if that's your goal.
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I'm generally reliable as a proofreader for fixing common mistakes in grammar, spelling, punctuation: good enough for home and work. I've long known that true copyediting would take another level of expertise, though, and occasionally pick up a book to make a few steps forward in that respect. Typically, this casual approach doesn't help much: I still get tangled on the finer points of that versus which, for example -- a perennial bugbear of mine. Having read Gordon's Transitive Vampire, I still can't recall the more obscure branches or leaves on the grammar tree. No single book is likely to replace the need for simply buckling down and committing rules to memory. Should I want to look something up, though, Gordon's survey is simple and offers unusual imagery. I'll keep it near my desk alongside Strunk & White.

When clarity is paramount, I can get behind such guidance as, Equal in grammatical horror to the sentence fragment is the comma splice [111] and Avoid what are called "squinting modifiers". [129]. And yet, many a poet and Tin Pan Alley rhymester will rue the possibilities foreclosed, should either rule be followed blindly. Clarity and concision are not the only worthy uses of language.

The clip art is fun, the examples amusing. Neither builds to a narrative or even an outline of one, but Gordon relies on a few common themes to suggest a certain milieu: suggestive appetites, supernatural happenings, and the ennui of the aristocracy. It's all very Edward Gorey. ( )
2 stem elenchus | Aug 9, 2021 |
Loved because it sticks. ( )
1 stem wetdryvac | Mar 2, 2021 |
A clever, witty, and enjoyable (!) book about grammar, syntax, and the written word. It is full of useful examples and descriptions of grammatical constructs. This book is more enjoyable and easier to use than Strunk and White in my opinion, while also providing the same information. Anyone who wants to improve their writing ability and reading skills would benefit from reading this book. ( )
1 stem cyoung3 | Feb 7, 2018 |
This grammar guide's quirky gimmick is that the example sentences are all dark and supernatural-themed, Victorian-flavored, vaguely erotic, or just plain weird. (E.g., "To nuzzle flagpoles is her secret desire," "If I die first, will you tuck me into my casket?" and "The werewolf had a toothache.") This is at least more interesting than the standard "John gave the ball to Mary" stuff, but it didn't necessarily work all that well for me. If anything, it's kind of distracting, and it doesn't make up for the fact that the grammar lessons themselves are very dry and focused more on providing names for all the possible parts of a sentence than on teaching you how to use them well. Plus, unsurprisingly, there are points upon which it gets overly pedantic. There are definitely better, and livelier, grammar guides out there. Still, it'll be worth hanging on to in case I need to quickly look up the difference between a participle and a gerund, or if I ever meet a Goth in need of grammar lessons. ( )
1 stem bragan | Oct 1, 2015 |
This is a great book! Although it us a pretty thorough text about grammar, it is dressed in so much hilarity and freshness that it is pleasurable to read. I was surprised by the fact that it was published in 1984, as there is nothing about it that feels dated. I appreciate the pictures that are dispersed throughout the book as well; they are very enjoyably creepy. I recommend this book for middle school students all the way up to adulthood. For those who struggle with learning grammar, the light humor should make it more bearable for you ( )
  epenton | May 6, 2014 |
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It is in high spirits that this opulent, rapturous, vamped-up grammar drama leaps into your lap.
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