How Not to Write: The Essential Misrules of Grammar by William Safire
How Not to Write is a wickedly witty book about grammar, usage, and style. William Safire, the author of the New York Times Magazine column On Language, homes in on the essential misrules of grammar, those mistakes that call attention to the major rules and regulations of writing. He tells you the correct way to write and then tells you when it is all right to break the rules. In this lighthearted guide, he chooses the most common and perplexing concerns of writers new and old. Each mini-chapter starts by stating a misrule like Don't use Capital letters without good REASON. Safire then follows up with solid and entertaining advice on language, grammar, and life. He covers a vast territory from capitalization, split infinitives (it turns out you can split one if done meaningfully), run-on sentences, and semi-colons to contractions, the double negative, dangling participles, and even onomatopoeia. Originally published under the title Fumblerules.