Missed Periods and other Grammar Scares by Jenny Baranick


There are numerous books that try to make English grammar interesting. They usually have cute titles and crazy examples in hopes of making a dry subject a little more juicy. The books range from boring to irritating. I have read—and immediately forgotten—too many of them to count.

Then along came MISSED PERIODS AND OTHER GRAMMAR SCARES with its cheeky attitude and laugh-out-loud examples. Baranick is a college professor and knows how to speak to young adults. She also has a wealth of examples from her own students’ papers and emails. She’s seen first-hand what can go wrong in writing, and she wants to help students make it right.

I found myself flipping pages as fast as I could, eager to see what Baranick would say next. She compares spelling to the female orgasm, shows why comma usage is like dating, and illustrates capitalization rules by asking “What would Paris Hilton do?”  She describes words like already/all ready and everyday/every day as having relationship drama because “these are words that are constantly breaking up and getting back together.” Baranick’s examples are hilarious, a bit naughty, and unforgettable. Readers will be having so much fun, they won’t realize they are absorbing grammar rules.

MISSED PERIODS AND OTHER GRAMMAR SCARES is not as thorough as some grammar books, but that hardly matters if you’re devouring every word. Just as the best exercise is one you’ll actually do, the best grammar book is the one you’ll actually read. I’d love to recommend it to teens I know, because Baranick could get them to pay attention. However, it’s a bit too risqué for younger readers. But for grown ups who can handle it, it’s a fun romp between the sheets (of paper).




rating: 4 stars


This book is best for: beginning writers


I recommend this book

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