Do you get excited talking about commas? If you said yes, then you’re a freak. I’m kidding–sort of. I’m an editor and writer with a deep love of writing and the English language, but I wouldn’t say I get “excited” about commas or reading chapter after chapter straight of the Chicago Manual of Style. If you said no, don’t worry. You’re normal. But anyone who has read a post on Facebook or a tweet knows that boring topics like spelling, punctuation, and grammar are important if you want to be taken seriously.
Come on, you know you’ve seen those t-shirts or memes with jokes about eating Grandma. There are a million examples of how little mistakes in writing have caused misunderstandings or confusion.
Although grammar and punctuation rules can be dry and evoke an impromptu nap, they don’t have to. In recent decades, authors have presented the “rules” in humorous ways that make them not only less painful but actually fun to read, understand, and remember. Some are written and illustrated for children, but that just makes them even easier to take in without falling asleep, right? Check out just a few of these grammar gems!
1. Punctuation Celebration by Elsa Knight Bruno
Set as an Olympic style sports event, this book sets up punctuation as athletes who have different roles and talents. Cute rhyme schemes make it easier to remember the main functions of punctuation marks.
2. Punctuation Takes a Vacation by Robin Pulver
What if punctuation weren’t around? What if punctuation “took a vacation”? This book gives us a humorous insight.
3. Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynn Truss
Using punctuation incorrectly leads to many awkward and funny misunderstandings. Lynn Truss reviews the appropriate ways to use these tiny little marks that can completely change meaning. This book focuses specifically on the many confusing punctuation rules, while the other guidebooks tend to include other conventions too.
Truss has also written a simpler, more kid-friendly version.
4. Twenty-odd Ducks by Lynn Truss
In Sunday comic style, Lynn Truss shows how a sentence can completely change meaning depending on where punctuation marks are placed. You’ll be laughing and completely fascinated by punctuation.
5. The Girl’s Like Spaghetti: Why, You Can’t Manage without Apostrophes by Lynn Truss
Who knew you could devote an entire book to apostrophes? Similar to Twenty-Odd Ducks, Truss uses the same comical style to show how much power apostrophes really have.
6. Missed Periods and Other Grammar Scares: How to Avoid Unplanned and Unwanted Grammar Errors by Jenny Baranick
Don’t you just love puns? If it’s possible for a layperson to feel like girlfriends with a writing professor, Jenny Baranick makes it happen within just a few pages of her book. The introduction alone gives tons of spelling and punctuation errors with hilarious consequences. By relating to personal, funny, and sometimes risque topics, Baranick livens up the dry subject of grammar and punctuation.
What is your favorite punctuation mark?
Featured image via: Grammarly