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Oxford Modern English Grammar Format Kindle
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The book is a descriptive, not a prescriptive, grammar.
Although the book covers both British and American English grammar, its focus is heavily on British English grammar. A large majority of the examples are from British English.
This is a good book for people familiar with traditional grammar but who want to experience a different perspective on grammar. I found the book mind expanding. However, this is not the best book for those who want to improve their writing of American English.
The book has a lot of good new information but it is not readable: there is no flow. It is full of definitions, lists, etc. I recommend another advanced more readable book, "A Student's Introduction to English Grammar" by Huddleston and Pullmum. Even though it has student in the title but it is actually an advanced book based on the new Cambridge's Grammar by the same authors.
At the time of purchase I wanted a serious grammar book for a grown-up reader, no teddy bears or tinker bell faeries to help engage my attention. I was prepared for a descriptive grammar book—where it's hard to find a reader woven into the message (he's there though: in phrases such as 'In the examples that follow' or 'It is interesting to remember' or 'Note that' or 'We can show that'). Unfortunately this one reads as if it were a huge list of the most dull equations you can imagine; as if it were a picture created by a painter for no one to see. Of course even such an obscure work of art always finds its admirers: look what happens in 'The Vivisector' by Patrick White. I love abstract art and its fancy prices, just not the Aarts's art. Clearly, this book was written either for the multitude of a highbrow bore or for the author himself with the sole purpose of summing up his life's work. I imagine there must have been passion involved (for language as a system, a little less for language as communication) and I'm sure this book adds plenty to the discussion. Only I must retire from it and, as a non-native English speaker, stick with the more pragmatics-oriented approach I have found only recently, in 'The Chicago Guide to Grammar, Usage, and Punctuation'.
P.S. A quote from the Oxford Modern English Grammar: "The present tense is also commonly used to express a series of identical situations, that is, a habit." This shows how unfortunate is the author's understanding of pragmatics. Because neither 'a series' nor 'identical situations' conveys the message of habit being an intentional repetiton, meaning: there's a person behind the habit and it's this person's way of existing in time. Tenses don't float in balloons to be popped off abruptly from a book's page. If I wanted to mock even more, I'd say a series of identical situations might be as well a stamp series with a single stamp depicting an act of feudal homage.
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