A writing handbook that celebrates the infinite pizzazz of verbs.
Writers know it instinctively: Verbs make a sentence zing. Grammar gurus agree: Drama in writing emerges from the interplay of a subject (noun) and a predicate (verb). Constance Hale, the best-selling author of Sin and Syntax, zooms in on the colorful world of verbs. Synthesizing the pedagogical and the popular, the scholarly and the scandalous, Hale combines the wit of Bill Bryson with the practical wisdom of William Zinsser. She marches through linguistic history to paint a layered picture of our language—from before it really existed to the quirky usages we see online today. She warns about habits to avoid and inspires with samples of brilliant writing. A veteran teacher, Hale gives writing prompts along the way, helping readers “try, do, write, play.” Vex, Hex, Smash, Smooch guides us to more powerful writing by demonstrating how to use great verbs with style.
With its crisp, witty tone, Sin and Syntax covers grammar’s ground rules while revealing countless unconventional syntax secrets (such as how to use—Gasp!—interjections or when to pepper your prose with slang) that make for sinfully good writing. Discover how to:
- Distinguish between words that are “pearls” and words that are “potatoes”
- Avoid “couch potato thinking” and “commitment phobia” when choosing verbs
- Use literary devices such as onomatopoeia, alliteration, and metaphor (and understand what you’re doing)
Everyone needs to know how to write stylish prose—students, professionals, and seasoned writers alike. Whether you’re writing to sell, shock, or just sing, Sin and Syntax is the guide you need to improve your command of the English language.
What do OTOH and ASCII stand for? Should “online” be hyphenated? What exactly is Internet “spam,” anyway? Whether you communicate on the Net or just write about it, you can’t escape the quandaries of our new techno-language. A book as revolutionary as the industry it covers, Wired Style is a practical guide for navigating the informal waters of digital prose. Offering breakthrough essays showing how to “Transcend the Technical,” “Capture the Colloquial,” and “Go Global, ” its comprehensive listings cover geeks’ lingo, decode acronyms, and answer all those frequently asked questions.