I've become more and more interested in language and grammar over the past few years, probably in part because I've been writing more online and I don't want to embarrass myself. Living in Australia has something to do with it too, as I find myself defending why Americans talk or write the way they do, and I like to be armed with facts.
Between You & Me was a Christmas gift, and I was expecting, from promotional blurbs, a book with a similar tone to Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynn Truss. It's not; the humour here is...negligible. Or maybe just different. As much as this book is about grammar and usage, it's also a memoir of sorts of Norris' time at The New Yorker.
I was thrilled to learn that I can let go of the guilt I feel for using hyphens instead of proper em/en dashes, because it's an acceptable substitution, given a hyphen is easier to reach on the keyboard. I was also happy to learn I wasn't abusing my dash usage - they're so useful!
But it turns out that using semi-colons is considered pretentious (in America anyway). Bummer; I guess that means I'm pretentious? They just seem to be the natural punctuation for how I write. I try to keep them to a minimum, but I do like stringing together a couple of independent clauses.
Generally, a well-written (I can't imagine the OCD proof-reading process for this book), interesting read about grammar - and the fact that I can use 'grammar' and 'interesting' in the same sentence should say something about Norris' ability to make a dry subject worth reading about.