The Elements of F*cking Style

The Elements of F*cking Style drags English grammar out of the ivory tower and into the gutter, injecting a dull subject with a much-needed dose of color.

Capitalizing on the recent success of Go The F**k to Sleep, authors Chris Baker and Jacob Hansen update Shrunk & White’s classic with The Elements of F*cking Style.

The truth about English is that it can get pretty boring. Dangling modifiers, gerunds, punctuation marks–it’s enough to make you want to drop out of high school. Swearing and sex on the other hand, well, these time-honored pastimes warm the cockles of our hearts. Now, The Elements of F*cking Style drags English grammar out of the ivory tower and into the gutter, injecting a dull subject with a much-needed dose of color.

This book addresses everything from common questions (“What the hell is a pronoun?”) to philosophical conundrums (“Does not using paragraphs or periods make my thesis read like it was written by a mental patient?”).

Other valuable sections include:

  • All I’ve got in this world are my sentences and my balls, and I don’t break ’em for nobody
  • Pronouns are a real bitch
  • A colon is more than an organ that gets cancer
  • The positive form beats the shit out of wishy-washy writing
  • Symmetry is the tits
  • Words your bound to fuck up

Clearly, the authors are unaware of the dictum that profanity is the linguistic crutch of the inarticulate motherfucker.

FILED UNDER: Humor, Popular Culture, Quick Takes
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. CB says:

    Clearly, the authors are unaware of the dictum that profanity is the linguistic crutch of the inarticulate motherfucker.

    A++

    Love these books. Go The F*ck To Sleep is an absolute classic.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Clearly, the authors are unaware of the dictum that profanity is the linguistic crutch of the inarticulate motherfucker.

    Heh heh.

    On the funnier side,their misspelling of you’re is the first thing I noticed. Sister Mary Theresa would be so proud.

  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Please release me, let me go….

    from moderator purgatory…

  4. Ron Beasley says:

    The F word is one of the most powerful words in American English – in British English not so much. Powerful words should be used carefully but they can be effective. I was sent to Germany by my employer, the DIA, in 1968. When I returned in 1972 it was a shock to see that women were using the F word. Of course words are words. Thanks to the Puritans American English has more naughty words than any other language. In German the worst thing you can say is dirty pig. In England “bloody” is far worse than the F word. So what is profanity? They are just words.

  5. Actually, this big is strangely appropriate in one way. There was a report on NPR a few months back discussing the neurology of cursewords. Basically when you swear or hear swearing, the basal ganglia part of your brain activates in addition to the nomal speech center in Broca’s area of the cortex. While the specific words that cause this reaction vary from culture to culture, it’s present in all humans.

    What does that have to do with this book? Well, the researchers noted that in highly educated people, improper grammar will cause the same reaction as swearing!

  6. matt says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Aye their there your you’re its it’s and more all stick out to me thanks to the “grammar Nazi” trolls I’ve encountered over the decades of online interactions I’ve participated in.