Woe Is I

The Grammarphobe’s Guide
to Better English in Plain English

Unlike, say, Latin, English is a living language— and, like all living things, it grows, it changes, it can be messy and confusing. Now the modern grammar classic Woe Is I has grown and changed too, in an updated and expanded third edition. America’s beloved grammar guru Patricia T. O’Conner has revisited her indispensable survival guide to the English language, offering fresh insights into our daily struggles with which and that, who and whom, colons and semicolons, and more. Every chapter has been revised and updated, and there are all-new chapters on pronunciation and spelling. In these pages you’ll find commonsense, jargon-free, even witty answers to all your questions about the basics as well as the subtleties of grammar, style, and usage. Whether you’re intimidated by possessives, baffled by pronouns, or simply have no idea what a gerund is, Woe Is I can bail you out. Thanks to this book, your days as a grammarphobe are over.

To buy Woe Is I, visit your local bookstore, Amazon.com, or Barnes&Noble.com.

The Chapters

  • WOE IS I: Therapy for Pronoun Anxiety
  • PLURALS BEFORE SWINE: Blunders With Numbers
  • YOURS TRULY: The Possessives and the Possessed
  • THEY BEG TO DISAGREE: Putting Verbs in Their Place
  • VERBAL ABUSE: Words on the Endangered List
  • SPELLBOUND: How to Be Letter Perfect
  • SO TO SPEAK: Talking Points on Pronunciation
  • COMMA SUTRA: The Joy of Punctuation
  • THE COMPLEAT DANGLER: A Fish Out of Water
  • DEATH SENTENCE: Do Clichés Deserve to Die?
  • THE LIVING DEAD: Let Bygone Rules Be Gone
  • SAYING IS BELIEVING: How to Write What You Mean

Reviews of Woe Is I

“It’s like Strunk and White combined with S. J. Perelman—none of whom would have had the slightest objection.”

— New York Times Book Review

“Woe Is I is enormous fun as well as enormously instructive.”

— Publishers Weekly

“I mean, this is, like, a cool book.”

— Garrison Keillor

“Possibly the most popular book on grammar ever published.”

— Writers.com

“A nifty guidebook to modern grammar that affectionately elbows the reader on every page.”

— San Francisco Chronicle

“The best thing to happen to grammar since Strunk and White.”

— Molly Ivins

“It is the best primer on English usage to come along since Strunk and White.”

— Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“Wow! Who would have thought you could have such a delicious time with a grammar book?”

— Susan Isaacs

“Clear, easy to read and filled with examples that provide a fresh understanding of musty old rules.”

— Charlotte Observer

“Hallelujah! This book works.”

— Des Moines Register

To buy Woe Is I, visit your local bookstore, Amazon.com, or Barnes&Noble.com.