Sin and Syntax: How to Craft Wickedly Effective Prose

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Broadway Books, 2001 - Reference - 289 pages
135 Reviews
Want your writing to sell, shock, or just sing? The acclaimed author of Wired Style presents a hip, real-world guide to the rules of grammar--and when to break them. Today's writers need more spunk than Strunk. Whether crafted for the Great American Novel, Madison Avenue advertising, or Grammy Award-winning rap lyrics, memorable writing must jump off the page. Now, from copy veteran Constance Hale comes a fun, informative, indispensable guide to taking your writing from ordinary to extraordinary. Sin and syntax is more than just a style manual with examinations of sentence structure and parts of speech. In addition to spelling out the basic rules, Constance Hale teaches you when--and how--to effectively break them. Chock full of examples from traditional and nontraditional prose--from advertising jingles to song lyrics to literary classics--Sin and syntax shows you why learning to "sin" will make you a better writer. Discover how to: distinguish between words that are "pearls" and words that are "potatoes", innovate with adjectives to avoid clichés, avoid "couch potato thinking" and "com-mitment phobia" when choosing verbs, and how to use literary devices such as onomatopoeia, alliteration, and metaphor. Plus--you'll learn: how Rich Little boosted his comedy career with the perfected use of one particular interjection, why Muhammad Ali's syntactically surprising speech worked as well as his jabs, and which famous opening line from American literature contains no subject whatsoever. A perfect display of Hale's own literary principles, Sin and syntax, with its clear, crisp, modern approach to style, will be an essential guide for all those who want to improve their command of the English language.

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It was clear, concise, and full of great writing tips. - Goodreads
Not at all helpful for academic or business writing. - Goodreads
Not a bad reference book for grammar and style. - Goodreads
Easy to read, funny and sarcastic but informative. - Goodreads
Very useful for writing... - Goodreads
Hale shows us that writing guides can be well written. - Goodreads

Review: Sin and Syntax: How to Craft Wickedly Effective Prose

User Review  - AJ Bauers - Goodreads

This book served as a great overview on English basics as well as some added tips to help with prose. One of my weaknesses as a writer is writing the way I talk, which can lead to some syntax issues ... Read full review

Review: Sin and Syntax: How to Craft Wickedly Effective Prose

User Review  - Eric Wright - Goodreads

In Sin and Syntax, Constance Hale engages the reader with clever approaches to grammar usage. She exposes poor usage in published writing with a tone that is cutting, and yet at the same time, playful ... Read full review



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About the author (2001)

Constance Hale is the author of "Wired Style" and "Sin and Syntax". She has taught at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University and UC Berkeley Extension. She is based in San Francisco, California.

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