The Mountain Man's Field Guide to Grammar: A Fearless Adventure in Grammar, Style, and Usage

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9781402207402: The Mountain Man's Field Guide to Grammar: A Fearless Adventure in Grammar, Style, and Usage
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"The Mountain Man's Field Guide to Grammar" is the brainchild of a man who loved to write, but hated learning the rules."
Samuel G. Freedman, the New York Times

A Fearless Adventure in Grammar, Style, and Usage

Conquer new frontiers with this fresh & outrageous take on grammar! The Mountain Man's Field Guide to Grammar - with its fresh, witty, and humorous style - turns the stuffy old grammar book format on its head, delightfully reminding you that grammar can actually be fun.

Whether you are a writer, professional, student, or just an adventurous soul, The Mountain Man's Field Guide to Grammar is the perfect trail guide to lead you safely through the tangles and gorges of the grammar wilderness.

Seasoned throughout with colorful stories, clever anecdotes, and offbeat words of wisdom, The Mountain Man's Field Guide to Grammar relives the rollicking, riotous days of the old West and the long-lost lore of the mountain man.

Mount up, and keep a sharp eye. Keep your steel keen and your powder dry. Where we go, few follow.

"In writing this book, I have attempted to make each line of text, each rule of grammar, and each example fresh and new and original. But a noun is a noun and a verbal is a verbal, and festooning them in gaudy finery can neither add nor detract from their essence. American grammar and construction―the essential stuff―is staid and stately, elegant, sensuous, raw, and beautiful."
Gary Spina

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About the Author:

Gary Spina has taught English in the New York City, Washington, D.C., and Rosebud County, Montana. The Mountain Man's Field Guide to Grammar utilizes the author's own unique classroom techniques for simplifying and clarifying complex grammar and usage rules.
"When I was a boy, I was a terrible student," Spina says. "I was especially proficient at failing English. By some fluke of fate I grew up to become an English teacher and writer. I never forgot what it was like to sit in a classroom and suffer through dull grammar lessons. I swore I'd make my lessons fun."
Gary Spina has ventured half way around the world and back again. Along the way, he has encountered many of the interesting characters who now people his writing. He has wandered amid adventurers in Alaska. He has lived among the Crow and Northern Cheyenne Indians in Montana, where he taught Honors English at an Indian High School. It was there, between the Powder, the Tongue, the Yellowstone, and the Big Horn Rivers, where his "Mountain Man" manuscript came together in a flesh-on-bone grammar book of western lore and modern American usage.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

The Horse before the Travois:
Parts of Speech and the Basic Sentence
"Bein' ready fer trouble keeps trouble at a distance."
DSilas Potterd

French pelu meaning hairy or having hair. A plew was a fur-bearing skin, especially of the beaver, particularly one of prime quality. In the heyday of the old trappers, beaver skins sold for as high as ten dollars a plew in St. Louis.
"Some" was said of a person or thing held in the highest esteem. "Kit Carson-he was some, all right."
"Wagh!" is another mountain man word, somewhat more difficult to define. It is a guttural exclamation of amazement or affirmation, as in: "Wagh! That squaw was some, you betcha!" Or maybe that Indian gal had a taste for fancy trimmings, trinkets, or highfalutin amenities a mountain man called "foofaraw." Foofaraw had a connotation, if not denotation, of phony, high-toned ways, so a gal-Indian or white-with a bit of the foofaraw in her was repugnant to a mountain man.
"Castoreum" is secretion from the scrotum of the beaver. It could be used as a medicinal salve to ease the pain of a wound and to "draw out" swelling. It was also the "medicine" the trapper used to lure the beaver to his trap. Some trappers called it castor or castorum.
When a mountain man would brag about his rifle (and in effect about himself), he might say, "She shoots center."
A real mountain man had the "ha'r of the b'ar" in him. He knew "the way the stick floats." He could tell a tall tale shamelessly, or tell the truth if you cornered him into it. He knew that effective communication doesn't take a lot of words, just good ones.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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