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Says who? :  a kinder, funner usage guide for everyone who cares about words  Cover Image Book Book

Says who? : a kinder, funner usage guide for everyone who cares about words / by Anne Curzan.

Curzan, Anne, (author.).


"Our use of language naturally evolves and is a living, breathing thing that reflects who we are. Says Who? offers clear, nuanced guidance that goes beyond "right" and "wrong" to empower us to make informed language choices. Never snooty or scoldy (yes, that's a "real" word!), this book explains where the grammar rules we learned in school actually come from and reveals the forces that drive dictionary editors to label certain words as slang or unacceptable. Linguist and veteran English professor Anne Curzan equips readers with the tools they need to adeptly manage (a split infinitive?! You betcha!) formal and informal writing and speaking. After all, we don't want to be caught wearing our linguistic pajamas to a job interview any more than we want to show up for a backyard barbecue in a verbal tux, asking, "To whom shall I pass the ketchup?" Curzan helps us use our new knowledge about the developing nature of language and grammar rules to become caretakers of language rather than gatekeepers of it. Applying entertaining examples from literature, newspapers, television, and more, Curzan welcomes usage novices and encourages the language police to lower their pens, showing us how we can care about language precision, clarity, and inclusion all at the same time. With lively humor and humanity, Says Who? is a pragmatic and accessible key that reveals how our choices about language usage can be a powerful force for equity and personal expression. For proud grammar sticklers and self-conscious writers alike, Curzan makes nerding out about language fun." -- Provided by publisher.

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780593444092
  • ISBN: 0593444094
  • Physical Description: xiv, 319 pages : illustrations, charts ; 22 cm
  • Edition: First edition.
  • Publisher: New York : Crown, 2024.

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
Introduction -- Part 1. Who's in charge here? : Inner grammando vs. inner wordie showdown ; Ain't: what get's into dictionaries, and how ; Double negatives: how rules become rules ; "PC" language: why emotions run high -- Part 2. What does that word mean? : The funnest chapter ; Verbing ; Feeling hopeful about hopefully ; Quite literally ; Because like ; Gender-neutral chairs -- Part 3. What's the difference? : Ask, aks, and asterisk ; Counting less/fewer things ; Data and other disputed plurals ; Different from/than between and among ; Driving safe or safely ; Well, I'm good ; Having proved or proven it -- Part 4. Which pronoun to pick? : The singularity of they ; For who(m) the bell tolls ; Between you and me/I/myself ; None is/are confusing ; Which-hunting -- Part 5. Where does that punctuation go? : Commas, commas, and commas ; Rolling stops with semicolons ; The wild west of dashes and hyphens ; When it's its and other apostrophe conundrums ; Bequeathing capital letters -- Part 6. How stylish is that sentence : To boldly split infinitives ; Prepositions not to end a sentence with ; When and can start a sentence ; The perceived danger of danglers ; Passives were corrected ; Why writing doesn't "flow" -- Epilogue: navigating grammandos and good sense.
Subject: English language > Usage.
English language > Grammar.
Genre: Instructional and educational works.
Informational works.
Illustrated works.

Available copies

  • 3 of 8 copies available at Missouri Evergreen. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at North Kansas City.


  • 0 current holds with 8 total copies.
Show Only Available Copies
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
North Kansas City Public Library 428 CURZAN 2024 (Text) 0001012544276 Nonfiction New Available -

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