In Origins of the Specious, Woe Is I author Patricia T. O’Conner and Stewart Kellerman explode the misconceptions that have led generations of language lovers astray, revealing why some of grammar’s best-known “rules” aren’t—and never were—rules at all.
Students and teachers alike will appreciate and utilize this primer on the eccentricities of the ever-changing, endlessly entertaining English language.
Praise for Origins of the Specious:
“Happily fresh. . . . Skillfully drawing on the Oxford English Dictionary and other research tools, the writers always present conversational prose with different kinds of wordplays. . . An accessible tone and full of information.”
“Bestselling word maven O'Conner (Woe Is I) is that rare grammarian who values clear, natural expression over the mindless application of rules. . . . Proper English, she contends, is what the majority of us say it is (though she can't resist making a traditionalist plea to preserve favored words like ‘unique’ and ‘ironic’ from corruption). Writers will appreciate O'Conner's liberating, common-sense approach to the language, and readers the entertaining sprightliness of her prose.” —Publishers Weekly
Patricia T. O’Conner, a former editor at The New York Times Book Review, has written four books on language and writing–the bestselling Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English; Words Fail Me: What Everyone Who Writes Should Know About Writing; Woe Is I Jr.: The Younger Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English; and You Send Me: Getting It Right When You Write Online.
Stewart Kellerman has been an editor at The New York Times and a foreign correspondent for UPI in Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. He co-authored You Send Me with his wife, Patricia T. O’Conner, and he runs their website and blog at grammarphobia.com. They live in rural Connecticut.