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STET! IN THE NAME OF LOVE

Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style, by Benjamin Dreyer. New York: Random House, 2019. 278 pages

I DIDN’T TAKE ENGLISH IN COLLEGE. I tested out of it. And I was stoked. Filling out financial-aid forms, backing into a cop car, and getting ringworm all seemed infinitely preferable to reading about how to parse a sentence, and thus I did all of the former and none of the latter. Eventually I landed a series of jobs that required me to at least be able to explain what a dangling participle was; still, every time I look at a style book, I do so through wrath-narrowed eyes. That shit is so boring.

So I’m surprised to admit that I enjoyed Dreyer’s English. As the proper use of language takes a back seat to the ability to churn out a sixteen-second video of two frogs fucking on molly (or simply placed one atop the other on a card table and appropriately hashtagged),

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