Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen
I was feeling pretty smug about my word skills until, darn it, I learned something right there on page 26 of Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen. (I've been mispronouncing elegiac.) Even so, I didn't begrudge Mary Norris for taking me on a delightful tour of (in no particular order) the offices of The New Yorker, the history of Noah Webster and his dictionary descendents, Cleveland, and the hyphen in Moby-Dick. Between You & Me is a sprightly (not spritely, thank you) gambol in the fields of grammar, and I enjoyed every step.
I was feeling pretty smug about my word skills until I learned something right there on page 26 of Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen. I have been mispronouncing 'elegiac.' Even so, I didn't begrudge Norris for taking me on a delightful tour of the offices of The New Yorker, the history of Noah Webster and his dictionary descendents, the city of Cleveland, and the hyphen in Moby-Dick. Between You and Me is a sprightly -- not 'spritely,' thank you -- gambol in the fields of grammar, and I enjoyed every step.
New York Times Bestseller
Named a Best Book of the Year by NPR, Wall Street Journal, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, and Library Journal
"Hilarious…This book charmed my socks off." —Patricia O’Conner, New York Times Book Review
Mary Norris has spent more than three decades working in The New Yorker’s renowned copy department, helping to maintain its celebrated high standards. In Between You & Me, she brings her vast experience with grammar and usage, her good cheer and irreverence, and her finely sharpened pencils to help the rest of us in a boisterous language book as full of life as it is of practical advice.
Praise for Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen
Ms. Norris, who has a dirty laugh that evokes late nights and Scotch, is…like the worldly aunt who pulls you aside at Thanksgiving and whispers that it is all right to occasionally flout the rules.
— Sarah Lyall - New York Times
[P]ure porn for word nerds.
— Allan Fallow - Washington Post
Mary Norris has an enthusiasm for the proper use of language that’s contagious. Her memoir is so engaging, in fact, that it’s easy to forget you’re learning things.
A rollicking adventure into the origins of the apostrophe, the proliferation of profanity in American culture, and everything in between.
— San Francisco Chronicle
[A] winningly tender, funny reckoning with labor and language.
— Megan O'Grady - Vogue
Funny and endearing.
— Joanna Connors - Cleveland Plain Dealer
Laugh-out-loud funny and wise and compelling from beginning to end.
— Steve Weinberg - Houston Chronicle
Mary Norris is the verbal diagnostician I would turn to for a first, second, or third opinion on just about anything.
— John McPhee - The New Yorker
Smart and funny and soulful and effortlessly illuminating.
— Ian Frazier
Mary Norris brings a tough-minded, clear-eyed, fine-tuned wisdom to all the perplexities and traps and terrors of the English sentence.
— Adam Gopnik
Mary Norris is a grammar geek with a streak of mischief, and her book is obscenely fun.
— Marilyn Johnson
This is as entertaining as grammar can be. Very very. Read it and savor it.
— Garrison Keillor
Destined to become an instant classic…It’s hard to imagine the reader who would not enjoy spending time with Norris.
— Christian Science Monitor