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Between You & Me – Confessions of a Comma Queen (Anglais) Relié – 5 mai 2015
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Description du produit
Revue de presse
"Her first book is both an English-usage manual and a memoir; but Norris s unending patience is not required of her readers, who are repeatedly rewarded with gems of wit and wisdom...The pleasure of Between You & Me boils down to a willingness to spend 200 tightly edited pages in Mary Norris s good-natured, wise company." --The Guardian
"...a charming, chatty, discursive style guide...What shines through is that Norris is someone who loves her work, is proud to be part of a long and venerable line of upholders of editorial standards, and is wise and humorous enough to admit that upholding those standards can sometimes be a pretty lunatic experience."
"Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen is half-memoir, half copy-editor's lament - blue pencils at The New Yorker - and sheer delight. Norris' self-deprecating and hilarious confessional dives deep and comes up with a bounty of pearls..."--Times Higher Education, Books of 2015
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com
Ms Norris's book is not a grammar textbook and she's really quite gentle on everyday speaking and writing. She discusses some punctuation that we all use - I really don't think she likes writing with dashes - and gives us examples of the good and the bad. (Let me say right up front that I couldn't write without using dashes and that's my excuse for using them! But I'm not writing for The New Yorker, and thanks god for that.) Ms Norris quotes a note Jacqueline Kennedy wrote to Richard Nixon after her husband's death. The note was dashed off in that breathy style with which she spoke - full of dashes to keep her thoughts somewhat straight. Norris takes the same note and "corrects" it. The result was a grammatical correct message, but one lacking in Mrs Kennedy's distinctive style. Would Richard Nixon want correctness - or heart? I know which one I'd want!
Ms Norris's book is great fun to read, while learning some "Ps" and "Qs". There are some swear words in the text; it's not offensive but just surprising. Now, in this review, I've tried to use most of the punctuation she writes about. Let's hope I'm using it correctly!
A great deal of the book is devoted to discussion of grammar and punctuation -- again a topic which most people aren't interested in. Most of us learn to speak and write as young children, and our understanding of the basic rules is inculcated along with the superego. Add a star if you care to review the proper use of the semi colon or pronoun selection.
Finally, there's Ms. Norris herself, who looks as if she should be devoting her life to perfecting the chocolate chip cookie, discussing her search for a source of #1 (soft lead) pencils, and revealing what for most of us will be new information about the two-hole pencil sharpener. Her charm should be good for the fifth star.
In other words, this is a wonderful book if all conditions are met. If you don't care for the magazine, could not care less about the future of the apostrophe, and have no interest in the properties of pencil erasers, you'll probably skip chapters and consider this book a waste of time and money. But, if all conditions are met, Between You and Me is a wonderful way to spend a couple of hours.
I love this type of book but get the puckers when I start to review it. The how-tos are here but it’s simply too late to correct my wayward word usage. I’ll just have to make do with my ingrained incompetence. Mary Norris, Comma Queen, please accept my apologies for the errors of my ways. But know that “Between You & Me” is one of the best of the help books I’ve read.
Norris is one of those people: a copy editor with all the answers. But she’s not prickly. She knows what to do with grammar and punctuation; passing on her knowledge without snipe or snarl. Her explanations are clever, clear, and sometimes comical. The advice is practical and should be easily assimilated by even the biggest dolt. One doesn’t expect to have fun reading about punctuation, spelling, and usage. But this book is pure entertainment in its counsel with amusement on every page.
The author is going to coach you on subjunctives, spoken versus written language, word breaks, compounds, pronoun gender, and other scary elements. Along the way she’ll touch on commas, colons, dashes, hyphens, semicolons, and other punctuation marks that we all know about. Or do we? If you let this frighten you away, you’ll miss some unforgettable examples of how to get it right.
It would be a good idea for the censor cops at Amazon to read Chapter 9 with the earthy title of F*CK THIS SH*T. Norris discusses the use of profanity, decries its abolition, and, obliquely, takes a poke at Amazon’s hypercritical policy of bouncing reviews that have even a hint of impropiety. That practice has always been annoying to me. Amazon is a publishing giant that is willing to sell anything—erotica, rap music with explicit lyrics, sexual tools and potions, books with profanity in the title—but will not publish a review that even hints at bad language or contains veiled sexual banter.
This is a must-have book for readers and writers. It might not improve your overall grammar and language skills, but it will make you appreciate that there are people out there who would have you to do better, who work hard at making it simple, and who should be listened to with an appreciative ear. Mary Norris. More than just a Comma Queen.
Schuyler T Wallace
Author of TIN LIZARD TALES