June Casagrande is my personal deity. You should know that before you read the rest of this review (or while deciding whether or not to do so).
She's funny, she's smart, and she knows when to take grammar seriously and when to tell it to get over itself, already.
I could quote this book like mad -- and, let's face it, I have and will continue to do so. But really, there are only two things you need to know about it.
The first is that Casagrande doesn't mind saying that there are plenty of times when our language hasn't decided what the rules are.
For instance, which of the following is correct: "I appreciate you taking the time to meet with me," or "I appreciate your
taking the time to meet with me?"
When should you use "each other," and when should you employ "one another" instead?
Is it correct to say "It is I she loves," or "It is me she loves"?
Here's Casagrande's answer, and boy howdy does she back it up with research:The answer to all these questions and more: Nobody knows.
When I say nobody knows, I don't mean that the experts bicker over the right way to do these things. These are not cases in which they simply disagree. These are cases in which they truly don't have a clue. If they tell you otherwise, they're bluffing. They would like us to believe that they hold such mystical wisdom, but the truth is they're as clueless as the rest of us.
Which basically sums up the difference between a grammar nerd, who finds this answer fascinating and a little reassuring, and a grammar snob, who enjoys hitting other people over the head with the force of her rightness and does NOT relish the idea of having to live and let live when it comes to language usage.
The second thing you need to know about this book is that it's called Grammar Snobs Are Great Big Meanies
. This title will either give you a giggle or make your face pucker up like you just bit a lemon.
If it's the first, buy this book, because the whole thing is written in exactly this tone. It's ridiculously informative, and you'll enjoy every minute of learning how our language actually works.
If you made the lemon face, buy this book and read it because I want to watch you cry.
Either way, long live June Casagrande.
And now if you'll excuse me, I have some incense to light. That altar I have set up in the corner is getting chilly.