Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Great Grammar Book by Marsha Sramek

It is shocking to see how few adults out there actually understand the basics of elementary grammar.  Take a scroll through any Facebook news feed and you will see adults who confuse the words they're, there and their.  It is quite shocking to see how many people incorrectly use the words to and too or your and you're.  There are countless adults out there who absolutely need Marsha Sramek's, The Great Grammar book, and they don't even know it.  This easy to read grammar book differs from the traditional college grammar text in that this book gets right to the point and includes the basics of grammar without any extraneous information about APA research formats or overly technical information.  Sramek's book includes the essentials of grammar that every  adult needs to know. The chapters are organized by topics and easy to read.  Also included are exercises to apply what was learned. There is even a "Diagnostic Test" in the beginning of the book to aid the reader in finding his strengths and weaknesses prior to reading through the guidebook.   This guide is like a refresher course on grammar that anyone can find the time to read and understand.  Furthermore, the reader will find culturally relevant sentences and passages which incorporate pop culture and trivia in order to illustrate concepts of grammar. For example, the reader will see references to the infamous iphone, and Harry Potter.  This will hold the attention of any reader in contrast to traditional texts on grammar which tend to be dry and monotonous. Sramek has done a lot of foot work and research to insert random clips of trivia, tid-bits of pop culture and facts.

The additional helps in the back of the book on writing are relevant to everyday life.  While most people won't be writing research papers or submitting articles in APA format to medical journals, most readers will find that they do have to write an occasional business letter, email, cover letter or a letter to ask for a job reference.  For once, there is a down to earth, common book of grammar that will actually be useful for just about every adult.   I wish that everyone had access to this book.  It is not just for students, but rather the everyday layman- the adult who is finished with school but somehow slept through fourth and fifth grade language classes on spelling and grammar.  This remedial level book might be a good introductory guide for any adult who is preparing for a standardized exam or returning to college or trying to get a GED. The Great Grammar book incorporates and element of entertainment in what may be considered a dry, yet essential subject area. With Sramek's book, there is no adult who has a valid excuse for poor communication  and writing skills. 

One minor detail I would change is the cover image which depicts the dark silhouettes of a handful adults against an ocean sunset and black border.  I believe a more effective cover would be a basic primary shade to give a more scholarly appearance.   Or, the author could consider a design with a more abstract cover to depict a more contemporary, pop culture impression.  It is a fact that people will make decisions about purchasing the book based on the cover.  The cover needs a make-over; as it stands does not seem to jump out to the target readership. As a blogger I received a copy of this book published by Arch Press for the purpose of writing this review. 

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