Words Fail Me: What Everyone Who Writes Should Know about Writing

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Sep 7, 2000 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 224 pages
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Whether you are working on the novel that's been in the back of your mind for years or simply facing an increasing demand to write well at work or school, the fact remains: more and more of us are writing more often these days-reports, e-mails, faxes, and newsletters. But despite the increase in written communication, something has been lost-the fundamentals of good writing. Grammar maven Patricia T. O'Conner comes to the rescue with the most painless, practical, and funny writing book ever written. In short, snappy chapters filled with crystal-clear examples, amusing comparisons, and humorous allegories that cover everything from "Pronoun Pileups" and "Verbs That Zing" to "What to Do When You're Stuck," O'Conner provides simple, straightforward tips to help you sort your thoughts and make sentences that make sense. Push aside those stuffy old-fashioned rule books, because O'Conner has written the most accessible and enjoyable book yet for today's writer.

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Is Your Egg Ready to Hatch? Know the Subject 9
The Organized Writer 17
The First Few Words 26
How Am I Doing? 35
Part 2
Hold the Baloney 49
Verbs That Zing 56
Thinking in Paragraphs 99
Fear of Repetition 105
Belaboring the Obvious 108
The Art of Making Sense 111
Thou Shalt Not Embarrass Thyself 117
When the Numbers Dont
The Backward Writer 149
Making Them Keeping Them 165

Putting the Subject on Hold 60
Now Where Were We? A Time and a Place for Everything 63
Pronoun Pileups 68
MisbehavingModifiers 72
The Sensible Sentence 87
WellMatched Sentences 93
Whats So Funny? 180
Leveling with
How and What to Borrow 210
Appendix 222

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About the author (2000)

Patrcia T. O'Conner was an editor at the New York Times Book Review when she wrote Woe Is I. Her writing has appeared in many magazines and newspapers, including the New York Times and Newsweek. She lives in Connecticut with her husband, Stewart Kellerman.

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