Thursday, December 18, 2008

Just in time for Christmas!

My latest book, More Words to the Wise, is now available. Below, you'll find an explanatory preface and some links to make it easy to find.


Since the year 2001, WTCM-AM 580, a talk radio station in Traverse City, Michigan, has been carrying my radio program. Along with co-host Ron Jolly, I field questions each Tuesday morning about the English language. The topics include word and phrase origins, points of grammar and punctuation, pet peeves, pronunciation, funny gaffes in advertising and broadcasting, writing tips, and anything else remotely connected to our living, lissome language.

The questions contained in this volume were called in during the show or later emailed to me ( during the past four years. They are real questions asked by real people, some of them confused by our mother tongue, some of them bemused by its jabs and dekes. As in the companion volumes written for Arbutus Press, the questions and answers have been edited for clarity and brevity, but the essence of the original interchanges has been preserved.

This is not a stuffy grammar book. Entertainment is on a par with instruction when you are in public media, but be assured that the answers are based on twenty-nine years of teaching experience, most of them at the community college level. If you love language, you will find questions in this book that you very well might have asked.

You’ll find a thorough index to guide you where you might want to go, but the questions and answers are deliberately random -- just like the telephone calls that we field each week. As so many people have remarked when speaking of the first Words to the Wise, this is the perfect bathroom book: no chapters to confine you, and short questions and answers that can be read in any order whatsoever.

Finally, the program may now be heard in real time (Tuesday, 9:10 - 10:00 a.m. EST) in streaming audio. No matter where you are in the world, go to and click on Listen Now.

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