As part of my summer reading (which is a sizable list: the majority of 3 literature textbooks, at least 3 canonical novels, and some other smaller works purely for enjoyment), I am taking a look at two grammar texts that I happened upon in my new classroom, obviously left from previous teachers (either the most recent one or the veteran who retired the year before). One should be familiar to many: William Strunk and E.B. White’s The Elements of Style. I can’t say I’m surprised to see this one, honestly, given how revered it is in so many circles.

The other is Things Your Grammar Never Told You (there’s a picture of an old woman on the cover, supposedly a grandmother figure – get it, grammar, gramma? …yeah) by Maurice Scharton and Janice Neulieb. The latter is a figure familiar to me: she is a professor at nearby Illinois State University, the executive secretary of IATE, and the editor of the Illinois English Bulletin. (At least one of my regular readers should be familiar with her as well.)

I’m about 50+ pages into the latter – I’m saving up my energy for Elements after hearing both the highest praise and serious criticism of it – and while it has a lot of redeeming qualities (computer tips, for instance, which are interspersed throughout the chapters), I have my reservations about many of the things it says. A full review will of course be in order once I finish it. (Whether or not I say anything much about Elements depends on how much of my comments will be any different than what more knowledgeable people like Geoff Pullum have already said.)

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