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Sleeping Dogs Don't Lay - Practical Advice for the Grammatically Challenged
by Richard Lederer and Richard Dowis
St. Martin's Griffin
ISBN 0-312-26394-5
Published April 2001 - Paperback - 212 pages - $12.95

I find it worrisome how badly people speak, so I was happy to see "different from" and "different than" explained in Mr. Lederer's book.  Nine times out of ten it's "different from".  Lederer and Dowis have written an extremely useful book that will benefit most people wanting to improve their English, both written and spoken.  Hopefully that means everyone.  It's difficult enough to try to remember not to split infinitives, what an antecedent is, and when to use who or whom, but I'd be happy if people would stop using drug as the past tense of drag, me and him instead of he and I, and go and lay down instead of go and lie down.  Not much but it's start.  You can try the quizzes to test your spelling and punctuation.  I like the way it's explained that if you don't fully understand the nitty gritty of sentence structure (who does, really?), you can use your ears to decide if a sentence sounds incorrect.  They cover many common mistakes people make, and by reading through the list, you'll recognize many you hear every day, like: feel badly, irregardless, and off of.  If nothing else, learning the difference between many misused words between pages 63 and 87, will stand you in good stead.  My pet peeves are with the aforementioned "different from/than", the use of "at" at the end of a question, insure instead of ensure, and the juggling of I and me (as in me and him are going").  It hurts my ears.  I'll never remember all the technicalities of the English language but learning when to use which word is very important.  We all make mistakes (God knows how many I've just made), but let them be subtle ones.  Visit Mr. Lederer's Website.
Conclusion - Always tongue in cheek, Lederer's book is extremely helpful.

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