Thisessay looks into the book “Woe Is I” by Patricia T. O’Conner.The aim of this writing is to show the effect that the book had on meas a professional writer. The author has been critically acclaimedfor bringing a transformational approach towards educating writers onthe use of proper grammar, correct spelling of words and thepronunciation of words that are usually challenging (O’Connor,1996). By reading this book, I was able to gain insightful knowledgeand understanding of issues involving the English language that wereformerly hard to grasp. The language that O’Conner chose to passher message was clear, easy and plain. There werenointimidating vocabulary used or any other complicated styles thatmost scholars of this language employ.
WhatI was able to learn from the book was less than I expected. The firstbit of information that I got was from the section called “VerbalAbuse.” The author helped me understand the fine distinctionbetween word pairs that are commonly muddled. I also learned theright choice of words especially when it came to prepositions such as“that” and “which” (O’Connor, 1996). The different chaptersthat I read in the book gave me answers to questions on usage, thechoice of words for various sections of my writing and the use ofcorrect punctuation. The chapter on grammar re-enforced the rulesthat I was previously taught in high school, which was good for me. Ifound that the book was somewhat effective in passing its message asthe author chose to employ humor. Most of the explanations that Iread were crafted in a witty way that made me enjoy learning some ofthe few concepts that I had no idea about.
However,the text failed to provide me with every information that I hadexpected to learn. I was unable to understand the basis of all therules of grammar and pronunciation that the author claimed as true.While reading through the explanations, I began to feel that the bookwas more opinionated rather than factual. Some other concepts werealso hard to grasp since the examples provided only tended to skiparound the issue in a funny way. This scenario is insufficient for myprofessional writing career. I felt that O’Conner used most of thewords in her text to tell jokes while leaving the remaining few wordsto explain the issues that pertain to the language itself. I hadhoped that at the end of every chapter there would have beencomprehension questions that would have tested my understanding.Disappointingly, that was not the case. I got no help from thechapter on spelling merely because the author decided to list complexwords so that a person does not get confused when writing. I foundthis idea irrelevant because, if I had to memorize a lengthy list ofdifficult words, I could easily use a dictionary. Some otherexplanations such as how to spell the word ‘recede’ seem tooexaggerated and only take up more space (O’Connor, 1996).
Overall,this book was more of entertainment for me rather than a new learningexperience that was to assist with my career. This book is suitablefor novice writers or individuals that have serious problems with thebuilding blocks of the English language. The manner in which theauthor looks into the various aspects that make up English are trulyhilarious and memorable. Any person that reads the book will enjoy itand learn a few things. Still, experienced authors will find severaldiscrepancies when it comes to the rules stated within the text.Also, many details have not been fully described to the point thatthey can satisfy a seasonal writer such as me.
O’Connor,P. T. (1996). Woe is I. NewYork: GP Putnam`s Sons.