I'm Not a Total Grammar Nazi, But...

...as a full-time freelance copywriter I do, it has to be said, appreciate the consideration that goes into a well-placed apostrophe, comma or - the mother of all punctuation marks: the semi colon. I appreciate the irony in the fact I used a colon there instead, mind.

This quote I once spotted online pretty much sums up the importance of a little care when it comes to grammar and punctuation:

Grammar: the difference between helping your Uncle Jack off a horse and helping your uncle jack off a horse.

But while I've been writing copy for brands and businesses for 11 years now - five of them spent as a journalist on a north west newspaper - I still find myself carelessly making the odd mistake. There are, of course, a few punctuation dilemmas out there, after all:

Just where do you put the apostrophe in Goats Cheese?

Goat

It could be argued, you see, that the cheese belongs to one goat. Or a few goats.

And there are also a few things we were taught at school, which don't hold true.

'I' before 'E' except after 'C' doesn't work in all instances. Here's a few:

 

Weird

Vein

Feisty

What's my point? The truth is, we could all do with brushing up on our understanding of grammar and punctuation. And how it is - and should be - used.

So when the folks at User Design got in touch to ask if I'd like to review their latest book: 'Punctuation...?, I said 'hell yes!' (I love a good exclamation mark!). It dropped into my post box a few days later - cheers, User Design.

It really is a lovely book, with a really simple format and some pretty charming hand-drawn images.

Each page features a different punctuation mark or conundrum. Plus, the accompanying descriptions are simple enough in their language and tone that everyone from freelance copywriters like myself to the much less-annoying grammar stickers out there can get on board with the advice offered. Phew, that was a long sentence!

Here's a little nosey at the front cover...

Punctuation Book

And a sneak peek at one of my favourite pages inside: the one about semicolons.

Oh, I do love a ;

 

Grammar book

Whether you're someone like me who wants to brush up on their use of punctuation, or someone who wants to start afresh and finally get to grips with everything from a ':' to a ';', you'll love this book.

It's not too weighty, either. You could get through it in an hour and have some time left over to put some of the tips into practice too.

Want to get hold of a copy of the book? You can find out more about it here and you can buy it for less than a tenner (with FREE delivery, too!) over at Wordery. Thanks to Thomas Bohm at User Design for saving me the dosh, though. I'll be spending it on cake - it is one of my New Year's resolutions, after all.

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Until next time, folks...