Meet Marion the librarian on a Harley

Word count: 197 words

Reading time: Less than 1 minute

This is my weekly installment of “writing about writing,” in which I scan the world to find websites, books and articles to help writers. Today, I introduce you to Constance Hale.

I’m a big fan of  the American journalist Constance Hale, (pictured here.) Based in San Francisco, she is the author of one of my alltime favourite reference books, Sin and Syntax. I’ve reviewed this book on my website (scroll down to the fourth entry) and I highly recommend it to anyone needing a caffeinated shot of good grammar advice. According to her friends, Hale is called “Marion the Librarian on a Harley, or E. B. White on acid.” Love it!

Now, following a tip from one of my readers (thanks Rita Wespi!) I’ve discovered that Hale has written a series of writing lessons that have been published in the New York Times. I particularly liked what she had to say about make-or-break verbs and the pleasures and perils of the passive.

Hale not only understands her grammar — she also knows how to write in an interesting and engaging way. You can also check out her blog.