Book #Review – Sin and Syntax


I recently finished reading a wonderful grammar book, Sin and Syntax – How to Craft Wicked Good Prose, written by Constance Hale.


This book is a handy guide for anyone wanting to brush up on their personal writing skills, whether for writing emails, resumes, or any other writing activity. Of course it’s an excellent writer’s guide but not limited to only writers. I’m more inclined to call it a manual with a twist. Many other reviewers are comparing it to Strunk and White’s book with a modern approach and some added humour.


Sin and Syntax


This book covers a vast array of writing mistakes and corrections. The sins cover everything from how to break the rules and when it’s okay to use euphemisms, cliches, run on sentences, fragmented sentences, proper usage advice of nouns, adverbs, adjectives and verbs, dangling modifiers, and much more.


All chapters have demonstrations of writing errors and good syntax snippets of published articles borrowed from the works of some literary greats of our time and from the past. The chapters are broken down into categories:

  • The Bones – The grammar lesson

  • The Flesh – The writing lesson

  • Cardinal Sins – Referred to as true transgressions

  • Carnal Pleasures – The results

The Bottom Line:


Sin and Syntax is for all writers to use as a great refresher course on the proper use of grammar, and a great guide to writing more succinct by carving out unnecessary words.

I bought this book in paperback version, as I prefer to have all my writing books in print for handy reference.




26 thoughts on “Book #Review – Sin and Syntax

  1. This post caught my eye because I used to teach grammar in college composition courses. How students would have loved the jazzed up titles of “Flesh,” “Bones,” and “Cardinal Sins”! I’ll pass on this though because I have too many grammar books on my shelves including Strunk & White. Thanks for the mention, Debby.


  2. Great title and I might get that as the grammar books I have are so ‘tome’ like and difficult to find what I need exactly. I’m the same with reference books; I want all those in printed version so you can flip through and find what you need quickly.


    1. Hi Annika. I’m glad you found this helpful. And I’m sure you will find the book equally helpful. It’s written in ‘laymen’ terms, so yes, it’s not tome-like at all. Thanks for stopping by. πŸ™‚


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