Book Review: Woe is I by Patricia T. O’Conner

Posted 6 November, 2017 by Alicia in Book Review / 0 Comments  


The bestselling grammar book has been updated and revised to include the latest and greatest on the basics and subtleties of English, and features a new chapter on the language of the Internet.

my review

This is a great resource for writers and I recommend it. Some of the rules and advice is outdated but as long as you can tell what is currently considered fine (by the rules of common usage) then you can easily skip over old rules. I did learn some things, and some rules I will have to ignore because the power of common usage is too strong (unfortunately). But the friendly manner in which O’Conner relates the information makes it a fun read. She can get a little patronizing at times, a little too prescriptivist—such as in her personal war against the word ain’t. But I get on my soapbox about the abomination alright so I can forgive.

Some sections are full of rules and fun memory devices (mostly poems that you probably won’t take the time to actually memorize, but they’re still fun), and others are reference sections. Lists of commonly-confused words, for instance, or oft-mispronounced ones. So it’s worth getting the book just to skim through it now and then and brush up. Note: It’s not affiliated with a specific style guide, so O’Conner either chooses a side on things that guides generally leave open or more commonly vice versa. These can be read with a grain of salt.

This review was originally posted on my book blog. You can find the book on Goodreads and Amazon.



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