What people are saying about
"If I were a word, I would want Judge Wallraff: fair, firm, clear, tolerant within reason, and a lot of fun to be in court with."
Roy Blount Jr.,
"Her approach to language is a beguiling mix of charm and research."
"I think her judgment is flawless. I never disagree with her.
"Word Court passes my test for a great book on style and usage: one can read it for pleasure as well as for advice."
"Avail yourself of Word Court, by Barbara Wallraff. This collection of questions and answers from the Atlantic Monthly column will amuse you while it sets you straight."
"Let us open our arms to Barbara Wallraff, a puckish Atlantic Monthly editor who recognizes the dangers of taking her subject too seriously by beginning her book with Matthew 7:1-'Judge not, that ye be not judged.'"
"In making her rulings, Wallraff is gentle but firm; she doesn't mince words, but she is always civil."
Charles Harrington Elster,
"At times, her rare combination of expertise, patience, bemusement, and wit is oddly reminiscent of Click and Clack, NPR's Car Talk brothers-in my view, two of the great educators in America."
"She possesses a talent for verbal comedy and an awareness that one person's correctness is another person's fussiness."
"After more than six years of mediating usage disputes, unknotting grammar problems, and telling people that it's not all right to use alright, Wallraff knows just how passionate people get about their words. 'College students, university professors, men in prison ... they all write,' she says. They say they've been fighting with their wife for years about whether 'cash flow' is one word or two. 'People care about this stuff,' she says."
"Barbara Wallraff presents questions from intelligent letter-writers and answers them with common sense and gentle reminders of the rules underpinning her judgments."
"Ms. Grammar is funny, and she's also alarmingly smart. But mainly she is useful."
"Language snobs and language sports brought up on Mencken, Safire, and Buckley will find themselves humbled before Wallraff's Portia-like bursts of eloquent humanism."
Mark Zanger and Jessika Bella Mura,
"A charming and sensible book about language, by a person who clearly loves language."
"There are people who care so much about correct spelling that they have quit their jobs. They just couldn't stand one more of the boss's lousy memos with too many words missing a letter and too many others having too many. Fortunately, for extreme cases such as this and others less intense, there is a place to go for sympathy and understanding: 'Word Court' where the presiding judge is Barbara Wallraff."
J. C. Martin,
"In her column, 'Word Court,' she addresses issues about words and grammar and bears testament to the fact that many people are vitally interested in the subject.... Most entertaining and informative."
"Wallraff's guide to grammar and usage based on her regular column in The Atlantic Monthly is both informative and entertaining."
"Wallraff picks her way through language thickets with a sure step and a generous attitude"
"'Word Court,' by Barbara Wallraff, will accompany my summer travels. Subtitled 'Wherein verbal virtue is rewarded, crimes against the language are punished, and poetic justice is done,' it is predicted to be an easy grammatical pill to swallow."
"From among a handful-more properly, an armload-of recent publications, I pick as deserving of prompt attention Barbara Wallraff's Word Court."
"Wallraff is thorough and thought-provoking."
"Entertaining and insightful."
"New book of the month: Barbara Wallraff's 'Word Court' is an excellent gift choice for word lovers. The tone that delights readers of her Atlantic Monthly column is revealed in the book's subtitle: 'Wherein verbal virtue is rewarded, crimes against the language are punished, and poetic justice is done.'"
"Let's hear it for Barbara Wallraff."
Charleston Daily Mail
©2003 Barbara Wallraff - all rights reserved.