Rebel with a Clause
Tales and Tips from a Roving Grammarian
"A fresh and democratic take on language by a gifted teacher." —Mary Norris
"[Jovin] never hectors, never finger-points; she enlightens and illuminates. This is lovely work." —Benjamin Dreyer
An unconventional guide to the English language drawn from the cross-country adventures of an itinerant grammarian.
When Ellen Jovin first walked outside her Manhattan apartment building and set up a folding table with a GRAMMAR TABLE sign, it took about thirty seconds to get her first visitor. Everyone had a question for her. Grammar Table was such a hit—attracting the attention of the New York Times, NPR, and CBS Evening News—that Jovin soon took it on the road, traveling across the US to answer questions from writers, lawyers, editors, businesspeople, students, bickering couples, and anyone else who uses words in this world.
In Rebel with a Clause, Jovin tackles what is most on people’s minds, grammatically speaking—from the Oxford comma to the places prepositions can go, the likely lifespan of whom, semicolonphobia, and more.
Punctuated with linguistic debates from tiny towns to our largest cities, this grammar romp will delight anyone wishing to polish their prose or revel in our age-old, universal fascination with language.