This book examines errors in writing from several different perspectives. The most important perspective is contextual: what may be an error in one kind of writing may not be an error in another kind. Another perspective is a hierarchical one: some errors are more significant than others. A third perspective deals with genres such as fiction vs. nonfiction, written vs spoken language. Throughout the book, the emphasis is on Standard Written American English (SWAE), which is presented as the gold standard of writing. Other factors that affect writing errors are examined in detail, such as the role of social movements and trends. Examples are drawn from the LGBTQO community and the roles of social media. Throughout the text, errors are presented, along with grammatical explanations and correction strategies. The book takes into consideration that language and language standards change, as exemplified by the upheaval in pronoun usage tied to dramatic changes in gender roles and identities.
Philip J. Skerry, PhD, is Emeritus Professor at Lakeland Community College, where he taught English and Film classes for over forty years. Dr. Skerry has written several books on Alfred Hitchcock and is the author of the Rowman and Littlefield book, The Rules of The Game: A Guide to Writing in Standard English (2019).
Philip Skerry's "Writing Errors and their Ways: Correction Strategies for the 21st Century" is a compact but comprehensive survey of current errors bedeviling Standard Written American English with tools to correct them. Based on up- to-date research, Skerry's book wears its scholarship lightly while giving sound analysis and guidance as regards many of the current usage quandaries. Acknowledging that personal pronouns are in a state of flux because of societal changes, it provides common-sense solutions to these ambiguities. Additionally, Skerry addresses perennial errors such as subject-verb agreement, the who/whom confusion, along with many other mistakes found in today's published and internet language. All this is done with great clarity of presentation supported by cogent examples.
This study is a companion to Professor Skerry’s earlier book on writing The Rules of the Game: A Guide to Writing Standard English published in 2019. In the earlier volume, Professor Skerry introduced the reader to the principal characteristics, rules, and conventions of Standard Written American English (SWAE). Now, in this second book, Skerry, a teacher of English for more than 40 years, returns to the same challenging subject: how to write clearly and correctly within the system of rules that govern the use of Standard Written American English. The author states his belief that people can learn to write correctly if they understand the rules of SWAE. It is clear, from reading his book, that Skerry practices what he preaches. This slender volume is engaging, well-written, and well organized. It introduces us to the English language and then to Standard Written American English. Following these introductory pages, the author takes us an entertaining tour of the conventions of SWAE and the common errors associated with each. Each chapter is short and is followed by a brief summary of the principal ideas of the chapter. Highly recommended for all students of writing (regardless of age) and for high school and college libraries.