Word Up! How to Write Powerful Sentences and Paragraphs (and Everything You Build from Them) (英語) ペーパーバック – 2013/4/27
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Want to write more powerfully? You've come to the right book. "Word Up!"--an eclectic collection of essays, more inspiration guide than style guide--serves up tips and insights for anyone who wants to write with more umph. "Word Up!" does what too few writing books do: it practices while preaching, shows while telling, uses powerful writing to talk about powerful writing. "Word Up!" explores the perplexities and celebrates the pleasures of the English language. It leaves you smiling--and ready to conquer your next blank (or blah) page.
1. Grammar help: Clear explanations of difficult topics such as hyphenation, who vs. whom, and painful personal pronoun pairings (such as her and I).
2. Writing help: Valuable advice on how to energize your writing: “Want one tip, a single bloat-busting strategy guaranteed to energize your sentences? Dump to be” (p. 13). She provides splendid examples. And I’m wise enough to take her advice. For example, a few sentences above, I originally wrote: “I wanted to see if it [her book] was a home run or not.” I revised that to read, “I wanted to see if she had hit her home run; she had!” That’s stronger, don’t you think?
3. Better explanations than my graduate school heroes, Quirk and Greenbaum (A Concise Grammar of Contemporary English): For example, I’ve never read a clearer explanation of the difference between prepositions, verb particles, and adverbs than her chapter “You Don’t Know From Prepositions.” Unless you’re a closet linguist, this topic might not really excite you, but at least you’ll find the chapter clear and easy to follow.
However, I would like to challenge her chapter, “The Last Word.” She quotes many experts, including Bryan Garner, Strunk and White, and William Zinsser, whom she says all insist that the most important point should be placed at the end of the sentence, paragraph, or document, and she provides many of their examples. Placing the most important point at the end may work well in essays, fiction, and political speeches, but I would argue that technical and business readers want to know the “bottom line on top”: What is the point? Why am I reading this? What lies ahead? Don’t give me a mystery novel; tell me what you are going to tell me right at the beginning. We’ve agreed to talk about this soon to see if there might be some middle ground.
The glossary is superb, providing clear explanations for some of most commonly misunderstood grammatical and writing terms.
And try as I might, I could not find a single typo or editorial lapse. Marcia is a master writer. Hang out enough with her book, and you might get there too!
If you are ready to take command of words, reading this book will help you see when to follow rules and when to break them. Do you have a desire to communicate effectively? This book will give you some tips on how to write powerfully by for example, tightening your sentences.
Marcia Riefer Johnston is a very smart writer who doesn't waste words and her sentences in this book prove a certain lesson gained from experience. The more she writes, the better she gets. Her writing about a trip is the crowning glory of the book but I thought she was a bit indulgent to analyze it. So be prepared for 9 excerpts with explanations.
The book ends at 62% so it was not as long as I expected. Then there is an Appendix and an "extensive" glossary. I'll read the glossary slowly over time. It has some interesting subjects and words to discover.
I believe this book took a lot of effort and research to write. I think Marcia Riefer Johnston should be congratulated on the way she effectively keeps your attention with her wit and wisdom.
I will say that I read this book at the right time. I felt total sympathy for her story about a difficult to read user guide. I have recently encountered an instruction book which has much to be desired.
Other things this book taught me was why Julia Child was such a successful writer and why some of us suffer from infobesity. The section on making your writing more understandable for those reading on smaller devices was well worth reading.
So overall this book is intriguing and is a far leap away from regular old grammar books. This book has personality.
~The Rebecca Review