Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen (Paperback)
For someone who grew up with dinner conversations on the proper usage of “lie” versus “lay” and “who” versus “whom,” is a delightful journey to yesteryear. Norris, a long time copy editor at the New Yorker, covers every aspect of language, from spelling to punctuation to the admonition against saying “between you and I.” She does so in a bright and entertaining fashion. I gratefully accept her advice not to “ultracrepidate,” (use words beyond my expertise.) And I embrace her declaration that, “The semicolon can be done without.” Between you and me, this an entertaining and instructive read.— From Ann
April 2015 Indie Next List
“I was feeling pretty smug about my word skills until I learned something right there on page 26 of Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen. I have been mispronouncing 'elegiac.' Even so, I didn't begrudge Norris for taking me on a delightful tour of the offices of The New Yorker, the history of Noah Webster and his dictionary descendents, the city of Cleveland, and the hyphen in Moby-Dick. Between You and Me is a sprightly -- not 'spritely,' thank you -- gambol in the fields of grammar, and I enjoyed every step.”
— David Enyeart, Common Good Books, St. Paul, MN
"Hilarious…This book charmed my socks off." —Patricia O’Conner, New York Times Book Review
Mary Norris has spent more than three decades working in The New Yorker’s renowned copy department, helping to maintain its celebrated high standards. In Between You & Me, she brings her vast experience with grammar and usage, her good cheer and irreverence, and her finely sharpened pencils to help the rest of us in a boisterous language book as full of life as it is of practical advice.
Named a Best Book of the Year by NPR, Amazon, Wall Street Journal, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, and Library Journal.
About the Author
Mary Norris is the author of Greek to Me and the New York Times bestseller Between You & Me, an account of her years in The New Yorker copy department. Originally from Cleveland, she lives in New York.
Ms. Norris, who has a dirty laugh that evokes late nights and Scotch, is…like the worldly aunt who pulls you aside at Thanksgiving and whispers that it is all right to occasionally flout the rules.
— Sarah Lyall
[P]ure porn for word nerds.
— Allan Fallow
Mary Norris has an enthusiasm for the proper use of language that’s contagious. Her memoir is so engaging, in fact, that it’s easy to forget you’re learning things.
A rollicking adventure into the origins of the apostrophe, the proliferation of profanity in American culture, and everything in between.
[A] winningly tender, funny reckoning with labor and language.
— Megan O'Grady
Funny and endearing.
— Joanna Connors
Laugh-out-loud funny and wise and compelling from beginning to end.
— Steve Weinberg
Mary Norris is the verbal diagnostician I would turn to for a first, second, or third opinion on just about anything.
— John McPhee
Smart and funny and soulful and effortlessly illuminating.
— Ian Frazier
Mary Norris brings a tough-minded, clear-eyed, fine-tuned wisdom to all the perplexities and traps and terrors of the English sentence.
— Adam Gopnik
Mary Norris is a grammar geek with a streak of mischief, and her book is obscenely fun.
— Marilyn Johnson
This is as entertaining as grammar can be. Very very. Read it and savor it.
— Garrison Keillor
Destined to become an instant classic…It’s hard to imagine the reader who would not enjoy spending time with Norris.