I wouldn't recommend this book as a writing aid. However, it is a nice conversational and humorous read about grammar, proper usage, horror stories at work, etc.--my props to the author as few topics are less humorous than grammar.
If you have ever looked at this blog you will see that I am not a complete grammar snob. The posts hyper-linked throughout this URL are ridden with mishap; however, blogs are informal and conversational and it's not necessary to write as though Norton is going to publish your blogwork in an anthology (unless you are a professional blogger).
(note: one of the most pervasive punctuation errors has been written correctly above. Independent Clause ; (semi-colon) however , (comma) Independent Clause. Unlike the popular: ,however,)
Irregardless (yes, I mean what I wrote), I'm tired of blog stalking at work and coming across:
*Than/Then: than= comparison, then= time
Threw/Through: threw= past tense of the verb "to throw", through: not a verb.
Their/They're/There: you know this one. you do.
You're/Your: you're=you are= contraction, your= possesive
Could of/Would of= you mean could've (i.e. could have/would have
Whether/Weather= whether= conjunction used to introduce alternatives, weather= climate
Over using "just" "really" and "very"
I'm not going to get too far into mechanics or style, this is mostly about word choice. Like I said, I'm not judging. I do the occasional effect/affect and have to think for an extra few seconds about lay/lie which is super difficult at times, I understand that. If stylistically you want to go for tons of italics, ellipsis... or long dash--I'm all about it. I only wish ppl wud take the time to read over they're writing really just once than they could c that its super easy to fix.
P.S. Because it took years before someone told me: i.e.= "that is" and e.g.= "example", they are not or rarely interchangeable.
Interestingly or not, April 2009 was the 50th anniversary of Strunk and White's The Elements of Style. A pocket-size 100 page pamphlet (really) it is regarded as one of the best books on usage that has been written to date (I was asked to buy a copy for a writing class in spring 2008). It's so famous it has an illustrated edition--it's a grammar book. And yes, White is E.B. White, like Charlotte's Web.
*This one particularly gets under my skin.
**Note: This is less in relation to the known readers of my blog and, as aforementioned, applicable to those random blogs I find to read while at work.mmmkay.