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.