Writing Wrongs
Common Errors in English
  • Publication Date: December 19, 2017
  • ISBN: 9781554813919 / 1554813913
  • 352 pages; 6" x 9"

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Writing Wrongs

Common Errors in English

  • Publication Date: December 19, 2017
  • ISBN: 9781554813919 / 1554813913
  • 352 pages; 6" x 9"

Writing Wrongs is a concise and thoughtful guide to common errors in English. It covers frequently confused and misused words along with problems of grammar, punctuation, and style, and offers a brief and up-to-date guide to major citation styles. Though it provides guidelines and recommendations for usage, Writing Wrongs acknowledges the evolution of language over time and the fact that different contexts have different rules—it is not narrowly prescriptive. A friendly, flexible, and easy-to-read reference, Writing Wrongs will be useful to students and general readers alike.

Comments

“Finally, a book designed the way I teach. It doesn’t need to be taught page by page or chapter by chapter. You use what you need when you need it. Robert M. Martin uses clear examples to make points with a light conversational style and, at times, a hint of satire. Readers are not just given rules; they are given full explanations about how those rules have changed and are changing. That level of detail is unique. After all, sometimes you just need to know the rule; but sometimes you also need to know why.” — Kirk Layton, Mount Royal University

“Informative, refreshingly honest, and often genuinely humorous, Martin’s Writing Wrongs is a comprehensive guide to writing that will serve teachers and students of composition well. While Martin’s book covers many standard topics featured in most textbooks on this subject (grammar, the writing process, documentation), its strength derives from its focus on the less-discussed and trickier issue of the style of good prose, and from its open acknowledgement that ‘the rules’ of good writing are contingent on context and the subject of constant, ongoing negotiation. Eschewing dogma and embracing a conversational tone, Writing Wrongs manages to entertain while teaching its readers the ins and outs of a skill set with which many students—especially early-career undergraduates—routinely struggle.” — Morgan Rooney, Carleton University

FOREWORD

PART I: WAIT! STOP! MAKE SURE YOU READ THIS!

    How to Use This Book

PART II: WHAT AND WHY

    What’s Going On?
    Why?
    What Makes for Acceptability?
    Sticklers
    A Surprising Note on Rules
    One Last Word

PART III: WORDS

    Meanings, Uses, and Idioms: A Dictionary
    Singular and Plural

      Plurals not Made with -S
      Singular or Plural?
      Words Borrowed from Other Languages
      Compound Words
      Abbreviations and Acronyms
      Mass Nouns and Count Nouns

    Irregular Verbs
    Homophones or Nearly
    Mondegreens and Eggcorns

PART IV: GRAMMAR

    Verb Forms

      The Continuous Tenses
      The Perfect Tenses
      The Subjunctive
      Sequence of Tenses in Indirect Speech
      Active and Passive Voice

    Subject-Verb Agreement

      Collective Nouns 168
      Other Agreement Problems

    Comparative and Superlative
    Split Infinitives
    Like vs. As
    The Order of Adjectives
    Danglers and Misplacements

      The Supposedly Dangling Infinitive

    Gerunds and the Possessive Case
    Ending Sentences with Prepositions
    The Cases of Pronouns
    Sentences and Fragments

      Beginning Sentences with Conjunctions
      Run-on Sentences

    Punctuation

      The Comma ,
      The Question Mark ?
      The Exclamation Mark !
      The Semicolon ;
      The Colon :
      The Hyphen –
      The Dashes – —
      Parentheses ( )
      Square Brackets [ ]
      The Apostrophe ’
      Quotation Marks “
      The Ellipsis …

    Italics

      Publications
      Non-English Words
      Emphasis

    Capitalization
    Numerals

PART V: STYLE

    Redundancy
    Filler
    Overblown Language

      The Thesaurus

    Biased or Insulting Language

      Worries and Motives
      Replacement
      Other Problems
      The Workaround

    Euphemisms
    Jargon, Good and Evil

      Good Jargon
      Evil Jargon

    Excessive Abstraction
    Metaphors and Similes

      Mixed Metaphors

    Parallel Construction
    Translation

PART VI: OVERALL FORM; THE WRITING PROCESS

    Short and Long Sentences
    Greening
    Planning Overall Structure
    Signposting
    Paragraphing
    Citing Sources

      Citing and Quoting Authorities
      When to Cite Sources
      Plagiarism

PART VII: SOURCE MATERIAL AND CITATION

    How to Insert Source Material

      Summarizing and Paraphrasing
      Quoting Directly
      Formatting Quotations
      Signal Phrases

    MLA Style

      About In-Text Citations
      About Works Cited

    Chicago Style

      About Chicago Style

    APA Style

      About In-Text Citations
      About References

INDEX

Robert M. Martin is Professor of Philosophy (retired) at Dalhousie University and author of many books, including Philosophical Conversations and There Are Two Errors in the the Title of This Book.