User Friendly Wren & Martin
Nita Berry
Q And The Magic Of Grammar by Amal Fabian Alpha Associates, Second edition , 2018, 316 pp., 395
May 2018, volume 42, No 5

This is quite unbelievable—a full length book on grammar in this age of abbreviated texting—SMS, Messenger, WhatsApp and the like, when grammar and punctuation are fast becoming obsolete! Indeed, books today are being consciously written without punctuation, and in a mishmash of languages like Hinglish a la Radio Mirchi style, for all age groups. Which makes one wonder if good writing is becoming a thing of the past—just like letters and handwritten notes have, and if language teachers and editors will eventually become an extinct species. Yet here is a book—Q and the Magic of Grammar that has gone into its second reprint in two years. This just goes to prove that correct use of language doesn’t seem to be out of fashion everywhere yet! Amal Fabian, the author of this interesting concept of a story interwoven with grammar, is an English-language trainer with the British Council in New Delhi. He has written this fantasy for young adults (13+) based on the usage and misusage of the English language. In his note to the reader at the beginning of the book he says, ‘I have noticed that many students of English as a foreign language often find themselves slightly at a loss when it comes to grammar.

This may be because it is taught in bits and pieces. One rarely gets a holistic view of the subject. After reading this book, it is my hope, you will have a good idea of the “geography of grammar”. Grammar is important. It gives us an essential framework to communicate our thoughts, ideas and feelings.’

The book is divided into three sections: 1. The story of Q and his journey through the Grammar Dimension where he meets many interesting characters, and learns all about rules of grammar. 2. Q’s notes on grammar points. 3. A competition to win the Lamp of Grammar.

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