Friday, April 17, 2015

Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen

A master copy editor for The New Yorker manages to fill over two hundred pages with nothing of substance. This is a dizzy, unfocused tome that bounces between stories about packing mozzarella to gendered pronouns and how the author really wanted to be a cabbie. 

Although I am rather a grammar stickler, and abused apostrophes make me cry out in agony, I'm also an aborted linguistics minor (major in French). My linguistics professor subscribed to descriptive (not prescriptive) linguistics, i.e. the way you speak is the way you speak, and that's just fine. If you prefer to use the neuter pronoun "one," you may do so. "The way one speaks is the way one speaks." If not, then don't. No one is holding a gun to your head and forcing you to speak a certain way. Well, I certainly hope not. 

However, the real kicker is that the prose is dreadfully boring and uninspired. It's clear that Norris thinks that certain things are funny, but she might be the only one. Best avoided. If you want an actually fun book about grammar, Eats, Shoots, and Leaves gets my vote.

I received this book as part of the Goodreads First Reads program.

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