Things That Make Us (Sic)

The Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar Takes on Madison Avenue, Hollywood, the White House, and the World

By Martha Brockenbrough
(St. Martin's Press, Hardcover, 9780312378080, 256pp.)

Publication Date: October 14, 2008

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This book is for people who experience heartbreak over love notes with subject-verb disagreements...for anyone who's ever considered hanging up the phone on people who pepper their speech with such gems as "irregardless," "expresso," or "disorientated..".and for the earnest souls who wonder if it's "Woe is Me," or "Woe is I," or even "Woe am I."

Martha Brockenbrough's "Things That Make Us (Sic)" is a laugh-out-loud guide to grammar and language, a snarkier American answer to Lynn Truss's runaway success, "Eats, Shoots & Leaves." Brockenbrough is the founder of National Grammar Day and SPOGG -- the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar -- and as serious as she is about proper usage, her voice is funny, irreverent, and never condescending. "Things That Make Us (Sic)" addresses common language stumbling stones such as evil twins, cliches, jargon, and flab, and offers all the spelling tips, hints, and rules that are fit to print. It's also hugely entertaining, with letters to high-profile language abusers, including David Hasselhoff, George W. Bush, and Canada's Maple Leafs sic], as well as a letter to --and a reply from -- Her Majesty, the Queen of England.

Brockenbrough has written a unique compendium combining letters, pop culture references, handy cheat sheets, rants, and historical references that is as helpful as it is hilarious.

About the Author
Martha Brockenbrough graduated from Stanford University with degrees in classics and English. At various times, she has worked as a high school teacher, a journalist, and a Web producer. Currently she keeps a weekly on-line journal of family life (http: // with subscribers in over 16 countries. She also writes an educational humor column for the on-line encyclopedia Encarta. Martha lives in Seattle with her husband, Adam Berliant; daughter, Lucy; dog, Misty; and cats, Spot and Lily.
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