What people are saying about
  the Honorable Barbara and her work

“Word Court is emerging as a hot reader magnet in our Sunday lifestyle section.”

- John Smyntek

special features & syndicate editor, Detroit Free Press


“Words matter, and there's no expert on their proper usage more enlightening or more charming than Barbara Wallraff.”

- Eric Schlosser

author of Fast Food Nation and Reefer Madness


“Barbara Wallraff is my language and grammar guru; she ought to be yours, too.”

- Anita Diamant

author of The Red Tent and The Last Days of Dogtown


“If you like thoroughgoing good sense and a light touch backed up with solid scholarship, you'll relish Barbara Wallraff's approach to language. She's a virtuoso.”

- Bryan A. Garner

author of Garner's Modern American Usage


“Word Court is an entertaining and educational column. Barbara's easy writing style is a hit with our readers, who really appreciate people who take grammar and words seriously. We're very pleased with her work. We believe her column is yet another card to play in building and maintaining credibility.”

- Mark Bowden

editor, The Gazette, Cedar Rapids, Iowa


“Barbara Wallraff has long been a great source of answers.”

- Bill Walsh

copy chief for national news, The Washington Post

author of The Elephants of Style and Lapsing Into a Comma


“I write for a living, but my spelling, my grammar, and my sense of whether there should be a comma before the conjunction at the end of this series are sketchy. Thus Barbara Wallraff is invaluable. She also knows why 'invaluable' means 'priceless' when, if I were writing dictionaries, both words would mean 'free.' Plus she understands the subjunctive mood.”

- P.J. O'Rourke

author of Give War a Chance and Eat the Rich


“Clever, tart, and even a bit sly, Barbara Wallraff is the ideal guide for those who wish to say exactly what they mean.”

- Christina Schwarz

author of Drowning Ruth


“Barbara Wallraff reminds us that language itself is exceedingly, delightfully peculiar, and getting more so.”

- Glenn Mott

managing editor, King Features Syndicate


“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

author and radio and TV personality


“Her approach to language is a beguiling mix of charm and research.”

- Anne Stephenson

USA Today


“I think her judgment is flawless. I never disagree with her.”

- Jack Miles

author and MacArthur fellow

quoted in The Boston Globe


“'Word Court' passes my test for a great book on style and usage: one can read it for pleasure as well as for advice.”

- Steven Pinker

author of The Blank Slate

How the Mind Works, and The Language Instinct


“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.”

- Marta Salij

Detroit Free Press


“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.'”

- Jack Hart

San Francisco Chronicle


“In making her rulings, Wallraff is gentle but firm; she doesn't mince words, but she is always civil.”

- Charles Harrington Elster

The San Diego Union-Tribune


“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.”

- Francine Prose

author of The Lives of the Muses and Blue Angel


“She possesses a talent for verbal comedy and an awareness that one person's correctness is another person's fussiness.”

- Mark Feeney

The Boston Globe


“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.”

- Jennifer Weiner

The Philadelphia Inquirer


“Barbara Wallraff presents questions from intelligent letter-writers and answers them with common sense and gentle reminders of the rules underpinning her judgments.”

- Erich Eichman

The Wall Street Journal


“Ms. Grammar is funny, and she's also alarmingly smart. But mainly she is useful.”

- James Fallows

author of Free Flight and Breaking the News


“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

Boston magazine


“A charming and sensible book about language, by a person who clearly loves language. ”

- Tracy Kidder

author of The Soul of a New Machine and Mountains Beyond Mountains


“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

The Arizona Daily Star


“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.”

- Karen Glendenning

Chattanooga Times Free Press


“Wallraff's guide to grammar and usage based on her regular column in The Atlantic Monthly is both informative and entertaining.”

- Nancy Pate

Orlando Sentinel


“Wallraff picks her way through language thickets with a sure step and a generous attitude.”

- Jan Freeman

The Boston Globe


“'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.”

- Betty Mills

Bismarck Tribune


“From among a handful-more properly, an armload-of recent publications, I pick as deserving of prompt attention Barbara Wallraff's Word Court.”

- John Simon

The Wilson Quarterly


“Wallraff is thorough and thought-provoking.”

- Robert Armstrong

Minneapolis Star Tribune


“Entertaining and insightful.”

- Chicago Tribune


“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.'”

- Sally Bright

Tulsa World


“Let's hear it for Barbara Wallraff. ”

- Charleston Daily Mail


©2003 Barbara Wallraff - all rights reserved.