Whatever Happened to English? – Part 2

Here’s what’s in my new book.

Regular readers of my blog may want to know more about the contents of my new book. Thanks for asking! There are seven chapters and nearly 100 topics, all listed here:


Chapter 1: Whatever Happened to English?

  • The Effect of Social Media on Written English Today
  • Why Study Grammar?
  • What Is Grammar?

Chapter 2: Usage Uncertainties

  • Lay Lie– Let’s Sort Out the Confusion
  • It’s vs. Its– Which Should It Be?
  • Sank vs. sunk– Another Common Confusion
  • Quash vs. squash
  • Everyday vs. Every Day
  • Your vs. You’re
  • A lot vs. alot
  • To vs. Too
  • Home in vs. Hone in
  • Taken Aback vs. Taken Back
  • Used to vs. Use to
  • Based on vs. Based off of
  • Set Up vs. Setup
  • Log In vs. Login
  • There vs. Their vs. They’re – A (Way Too) Frequent Confusion
  • Bid vs. Bade
  • Bad vs. Badly
  • Gist vs. Just
  • Moot vs. Mute
  • Disinterested vs. Uninterested
  • Advise vs. Advice
  • Between X to X vs. Between X and X
  • Memento vs. Momento
  • Sarcasm vs. Irony
  • Regardless vs. Irregardless
  • Insure vs. Ensure
  • Parentheses vs. Parenthesee

Chapter 3: Punctuation Perplexities

  • The Lowly Comma: Eight Ways to Fix Its Misuse and Abuse
  • Use Commas in Direct Address
  • Five Common Punctuation Errors to Avoid
  • A Punctuation Riddle: The Mysterious Semicolon
  • Punctuation Challenge – Hyphens and Dashes
  • Apostrophe Use, Misuse, and Abuse

Chapter 4: A Grammar Miscellany

  • Between You and I, We’ve Got a Problem
  • Watch Out for Misplaced Modifiers
  • Zapping Three Grammar Myths
  • In Formal Writing, When Should You Use the Ampersand (&) in Place of “And”?
  • Regular vs. Irregular Verbs
  • The Bare-Bones Basics of Sentence-Writing
  • Subjects and Verbs Must Agree
  • “My husband and I’s Vacation”
  • Me, Myself, and I: Using These Pronouns Correctly
  • Adjective Ordering
  • I-A-O Order
  • Good, Better, or Best? Using the Correct Form of Comparison Words
  • Four Simple Ways to Cut Out Fluff So Your Writing Flows Better
  • Curing Bloated Writing
  • The Team Romp?
  • Commonly Used (and Misused) Latinate Abbreviations in American English

Chapter 5: Fun With Words

  • Punography
  • Portmanteau Words
  • Mondegreens
  • Malapropisms
  • Spoonerisms
  • Thingamajig Words
  • Palindrome Fun
  • Twelve Latin-based (or Latinate) expressions useful to know
  • Twelve French-based expressions useful to know
  • Of Cranks, Bugs, and Fans
  • How I Might Know If You’re From England
  • Clippings– How to spell words we often abbreviate when spoken
  • Clippings – Part 2
  • How to Write “God” Words
  • Spelling Problem: To Double or Not to Double
  • The “Wright” Stuff
  • Should It Be Pleaded or Pled?

Chapter 6: A Dean’s English Potpourri

  • Short and Sweet Communications Are Usually Best
  • Poetic License? But Why?
  • Acronyms and Initialisms
  • Making Better Lists
  • “Favorite” Grammar and Usage Pet Peeves
  • Strange use of concerning
  • “I have read and accept the terms and conditions.”
  • Words and Expressions I Love to Hate
  • Text or Texted. . . or Texed? Which Is It?
  • “With That Being Said”: An Annoying Expression
  • Pronoun Issues – The Singular They
  • “Meme” – What Is It?
  • Does the Sportscaster “Commentate”?
  • Words Undervalued and Overvalued
  • Nineteenth Century Reading and Writing
  • Reading: Is Anything Better Than Nothing?
  • How to Write Academic Degree Titles
  • Eight Nonverbal Signals to Avoid Giving in a Job Interview
  • The Ever-Changing English Language

Chapter 7: English at the Holidays

  • Writing Presidents/President’s/Presidents’ Day
  • What’s So “Good” About Good Friday?
  • Some Fourth of July Thoughts
  • Veterans Day
  • Five Thanksgiving Words
  • How to Sign Holiday Greetings & Gift Cards
  • Ten Christmas Terms Explained
  • An Ungrammatical Christmas Story
  • “Auld Lang Syne” on New Year’s Eve


If you’ve read or scrolled to this point, thank you! If you go out on a limb and purchase a copy (or two or three, to give as gifts), thank you! If so, I hope you’ll be encouraged, enlightened, and entertained by it. And please, please share this with your friends on social media. Help me get the word out!

Thank you!

Get your copy at Amazon!

Author: Dean Christensen

Educator, copyeditor, writer, baseball bug, word lover, book hound, guitar picker, classical music aficionado, classic rock 'n' roll and movie buff, sinner, saint, former this, used-to-be that, and future who-knows-what. Every day is an adventure in learning how to make the world a better place--grammatically, anyway.

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