An engaging and fresh take on the rules and politics of English grammar, written in lively prose. It goes a step further than most books on grammar by providing an overview of the field, with a discussion of historical and current debates about grammar, and how we define, discuss, and approach it.
- Presents a novel, inquiry-based approach to understanding speakers' unconscious knowledge of English grammar
- Makes lucid connections, when relevant, with current linguistic theory
- Integrates language change and variation into the study of grammar
- Examines historical sources of socially evaluative perceptions of grammar, as 'good' or 'bad', and notions of language authority
- Provides syntactic explanations for many modern punctuation rules
- Explores some of the current controversies about grammar teaching in school and the role of Standard English in testing and assessment