Ten years ago I flew to Richmond VA to visit my cousin Phyllis who was dying of cancer. I hadn't darkened the door of church for double that time. But in the spirit of love and farewell, I went to church with Phyllis‹uncertain about my relationship with God, but certain I would draw comfort from the familiar poetry of the traditional Episcopal service. Imagine my horror when I began to recite the Apostles' Creed and found that I was out of sync with the entire congregation. By the time we came to the Lord's Prayer, the harsh reality of the situation had dawned on me. A bunch of ecclesiastic marauders had hunted down and rooted out every last tendril of poetry in the Book of Common Prayer.Imagine my delight when Sin and Syntax arrived at my door and I found Constance Hale's none-too-kind reference in the rhythm section (heh-heh) of her book to the modern revisions of the Book of Common Prayer.As a writer and a lover of language, I guarantee that Sin and Syntax is an absolute delight. It's witty, pithy and amusing. It's clear, concise and intelligent. I appreciate Hale's sections on rhythm and melody, and admire how she combines a back-to-basics perspective with a look-to-the- future attitude.I recommend this book for anyone who is interested in good writing.
This book was recommended to me by a friend, and I have to admit that I was at first reluctant to pick it up. But I do like to write, and I figured that there might be some helpful information in the book for me. I was SO SURPRISED to find that I was actually enjoying reading the book! Hale's writing is so fun, and the examples she uses are great. You can tell from the title--SIN AND SYNTAX: How to Craft Wickedly Effective Prose--that this is going to be more exciting than Strunk and White, which I suffered through in high school. Not only will it help you improve your writing--with real world application for careers and the like, not just for students--but you'll have fun reading. Believe it.
This book is probably one of the best grammar books out there, and it is absolutely a "Must-Read" for every writer (fiction and nonfiction, also journalists should read through it). The author is clear and precise in her explanations of grammatical concepts and possibilities, and she makes grammar fun. Some conventional approaches to grammar are challenged in this book, but the author Constance Hale--who currently teaches at U.C. Berkeley--is a qualified professional in her field. She's a maverick and she offers a healthy dose of motivation to be creative with your use of grammar in the new millenium. This book can really help to equip a writer with this certain edge in his or her writing projects.
This is an interesting and lively book but it is not written by Karen Elizabeth Gordon's as stated in the advertisment. KEG writes the forward but is NOT the author of the book. It is a good grammar book and easy to read. The format of highlighting important words in example paragraphs is a good teaching tool.
SIN AND SYNTAX should be a text in high school English classes. A generation of enthusiastic grammarians might rise up and wipe out the scourge of dangling modifiers. The mystery of lay and lie would be be solved at last. I teach adults how to turn their great ideas into the novels they've always wanted to write; and while the refinements of plot and character and theme are fairly simple to explain, grammar and syntax bedevil student and (this) teacher alike. But no more. With humor, clarity and excellent contemporary examples, this book helps me explain to my students why, after half a dozen rewrites, their sentences still sing off key, why I nag them about details, why some adjectives work and others just take up space on the page. A great resource book.
It's not often that a grammar book causes grins, giggles, even guffaws, but Constance Hale's Sin and Syntax is not an ordinary grammar book. The entertaining examples, from sources as diverse as Mark Twain, the Bible and wine bottle labels, illustrate the "bones," "flesh," "cardinal sins," and "carnal pleasures" of each grammatical point. After Sin and Syntax, I read children's books from a new perspective. Good preschool books are often peppered with action verbs, strong adjectives and elegant simplicity. Best of all, this grammar book inspired me to start writing again! Choosing the right word is now a puzzle to be solved, and creativity oozes from every email I send.