If composition class made you squirm and grammar lessons caused an uneasy feeling in the pit of your stomach, relax, readers! Lyles shares a friendly, chatty guide to written and spoken communication. Drawing on her 30 years of experience as a writer, editor, and manager for technology companies, her guide covers grammar but also includes practical advice, such as how to create an effective online profile, and taking simple steps to ensure you’re saying what you mean to. To keep things light, Lyles provides plenty of entertaining bloopers. Her material cuts a wide swath: PowerPoint slides, credit card statements, even customer-service rep scripts. Writing, language, tone: as one chapter title states, it’s “All in the Delivery.” As the author reminds us, mistakes can “make you look stupid,” language can be used “as an important litmus test,” and pronunciation matters. Organized into 11 sections, the book is made up of concise, two- and three-page essays with titles such as “Borrowing from Other Languages” and “Me, Myself, and I.” Readers of all ages and grammar levels will find this an easy and entertaining reference, and a valuable reminder that spellcheck and autocorrect aren’t always your best friend. (BookLife)
“From the Errors of Others is a collection of crisp, witty, and slyly informative essays for grownups with a sense of humor. The subject is communication—good, bad, and patently bizarre. The author is Rebecca Lyles, an experienced editor but not a wrist-slapping schoolmarm. Neither giggly nor ponderous, she eagerly tells tales out of school. There are boneheads and blowhards in our midst, she says, but we don’t have to take them seriously. And we certainly don’t have to imitate them.
From the Errors of Others is a refreshing alternative to those heavy handbooks we never opened in school. It’s not only far more entertaining than those dreary tomes, in the end, perhaps surprisingly, it’s also much more enlightening. Imagine that: a smart book about writing and speaking effectively that people will actually enjoy reading.”