The Glamour of Grammar

A Guide to the Magic and Mystery of Practical English
The Glamour of Grammar: A Guide to the Magic and Mystery of Practical English. Little, Brown. Aug. 2010. c.304p. index. ISBN 978-0-316-02791-5. $19.99. LANG
Journalist and teacher Clark (vice president & senior scholar, Poynter Inst.; Writing Tools) takes readers through a well-paced presentation, defining English grammar as a set of tools, rather than rules. Like Dunton-Downer (see review below), he conveys the magic that is to be found in English, in its ever-active evolution. Yet he stresses that users of English must understand the systems behind the magic in order best to convey magic themselves. As a teacher—and he writes here in a teacher's voice—he is excellent at explaining elusive topics such as the subjunctive and the serial comma, often comparing English to other languages whose different approaches illuminate our own. Each short section of the five main chapters ends with "Keepsake" reminders. The nuts-and-bolts information here is best for adults young and old in search of grammatical aid; yet Clark's erudition may be better appreciated by those who know their grammar. In either case, a rewarding purchase.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing