by Mignon Fogarty

St. Martin’s Press, $5.99, 123 pages

Learning new vocabulary is easiest when lessons come in bite-sized bits. Never again be caught confusing one word for another (affect versus effect or purposely versus purposefully). Learn the difference between similar words like hilarious and hysterical. Mignon Fogarty, otherwise known as Grammar Girl, is author of 101 Misused Words You’ll Never Confuse Again. This user-friendly guidebook offers straightforward definitions and a sample sentence of the word being used correctly in context. Fun tidbits including famous quotes, trivia, and illustrations reinforce learning.

Grammar Girl’s memory tips may prove to be most useful in the long run when taking in so much new information. Because problematic words usually come in pairs, Fogarty actually gives tips on over 200 words. In the real world, people are judged for using the wrong word (by teacher, bosses, and even college admission officers). The book’s tips will help increase SAT scores and will come in handy when writing papers or college entrance essays. You will find Fogarty’s style to be warm, humorous, and accessible. Become a confident writer and speaker. You won’t just sound smarter, you’ll be smarter!

Reviewed by Kathryn Franklin