Unhappy with the "zero tolerance" approach to punctuation offered by Lynn Truss's Eats, Shoots, and Leaves, David Crystal offers a view of the subject that is much more balanced. The book explains why he believes that when it comes to spelling and grammar, we should say no to zero tolerance.
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A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language by Randolph Quirk, Sidney Greenbaum, Geoffrey Leech, Jan Svartvik
This was the grammar I had been waiting for since the 1960s - the first real "reference grammar" of modern times. If you think of a dictionary as a reference lexicon - a book in which you can look up any word you want and find out all about it - then this book did the same for grammar - or, at least, it moved closer to that goal than any previous work had done. The Quirk Grammar, as it is often called, is still the book to which I most often refer when exploring a point of English grammatical usage.
If you find it helpful to go to Fowler, Gowers, Partridge, or any of the other famous pundits of the past for advice about English usage, then you will value this book. It is the first usage guide to benefit from the computer age. It is solidly based on a corpus of real data, and it is the first book to be truly international, providing information about differences between British, American, Australian, and other regional variants of English. It points the way forward towards the new, internet-fuelled genre of usage guides that will surely emerge in the present century.