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When You Catch an Adjective, Kill It
The Parts of Speech, for Better And/Or Worse
Written by Ben Yagoda

When You Catch an Adjective, Kill It
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Category: Language Arts - Grammar; Language Arts
Imprint: Broadway Books
Format: Hardcover
Pub Date: February 2007
Price: $21.95
Can. Price: $29.95
ISBN: 978-0-7679-2077-3 (0-7679-2077-5)
Pages: 256
Also available as an eBook and a trade paperback.



 
What do you get when you mix nine parts of speech, one great writer, and generous dashes of insight, humor, and irreverence? One phenomenally entertaining language book.

Not since School House Rock have adjectives, adverbs, articles, conjunctions, interjections, nouns, prepositions, pronouns, and verbs been explored with such infectious exuberance. Read If You Catch an Adjective, Kill It and:

Learn how to write better with classic advice from writers such as Mark Twain (“If you catch an adjective, kill it”), Stephen King (“I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs”), and Gertrude Stein (“Nouns . . . are completely not interesting”).

Marvel at how a single word can shift from adverb (“I did okay”), to adjective (“It was an okay movie”), to interjection (“Okay!”), to noun (“I gave my okay”), to verb (“Who okayed this?”), depending on its use.

Avoid the pretentious preposition at, a favorite of real estate developers (e.g., “The Shoppes at White Plains”).

Laugh when Yagoda says he “shall call anyone a dork to the end of his days” who insists on maintaining the distinction between shall and will.

Read, and discover a book whose pop culture references, humorous asides, and bracing doses of discernment and common sense convey Yagoda’s unique sense of the “beauty, the joy, the artistry, and the fun of language.”



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 
BEN YAGODA teaches English at the University of Delaware, and is the author of four books, including The Sound on the Page and About Town: The New Yorker and the World It Made. He has contributed to Slate.com, the New York Times Book Review, the American Scholar, Rolling Stone and Esquire, and writes an occasional column on language for the Chronicle of Higher Education. He lives in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania.





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