Welcome to your GrammarBook.com e-newsletter.
“GrammarBook.com is a very good tool when you have a lapse in memory and forget a grammar or punctuation rule. It is well organized, which makes it easy to locate what you need to review.”
“I've been using The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation for as long as you've been publishing it—a prodigious resource!”
“I open and devour your e-newsletter each week! I am now addicted and for that I would like to thank you!”
Stengelese Spoken Here
The long and winding big-league baseball season started this week. Every year at this time we profile a baseball immortal who is equally celebrated for his
unorthodox language skills. The choice this year is Charles Dillon “Casey” Stengel (1890-1975), who at the age of fifty-eight became manager of
the mighty New York Yankees and took them to ten World Series in twelve years.
Casey Stengel broke into the major leagues in 1912 and played for fourteen seasons. He later said, “I had many years that I was not so successful as
a ballplayer, as it is a game of skill.”
As player and manager, Casey was for decades baseball’s class clown—but a lot of snooty Yankees fans thought he was a no-class clown and
opposed his hiring. They weren’t alone. Boston sportswriter Dave Egan’s reaction to the new manager: “The Yankees have now been
mathematically eliminated from the 1949 pennant race.”
Instead, Stengel guided the Bronx Bombers to five straight World Series championships (1949-53), a baseball record that may never be broken.
Casey spoke a dialect of English called “Stengelese,” utterances that concealed nuggets of wisdom in a dense matrix of dizzying gibberish.
“Stengelese was mostly a public act,” said sportswriter Maury Allen. “He double-talked in part to diffuse pinpoint questions.” An
extreme example: “He’s the perdotious quotient of the qualificatilus.”
Stengel seasoned his speech with trademark words and phrases, one favorite being “at the present time,” which he’d drop in anywhere:
“Most people my age are dead at the present time.” He also found creative ways to use “fairly,” as in: “This club plays
better baseball now. Some of them look fairly alert.”
Some Stengelese could be harsh. On a player’s lack of potential: “He’s only twenty years old and with a good chance in ten years of being
thirty.” On another player’s batting prowess: “He couldn’t hit the ground if he fell out of an airplane.” On managing
twenty-five men successfully: “Keep the five guys who hate you from the five who are undecided.”
The baseball lifestyle, with its constant travel and unsupervised free time, has ended many a promising career, but Stengel came to believe in players who
could hold their liquor: “I have found that ones who drink milk shakes don’t win many ball games.” “We are in such a slump that
even the ones that are drinking aren’t hitting.” “Look at him. He don’t smoke. He don’t drink. He don’t chase women.
And he don’t win.”
In 1958, Stengel appeared before Senator Estes Kefauver’s U.S. Senate subcommittee on baseball’s antitrust status. Here is one exchange:
I was asking you, sir, why it is that baseball wants this bill passed.
I would say I would not know, but would say the reason why they would want it passed is to keep baseball going as the highest paid ball sport that has gone
into baseball and from the baseball angle. I am not going to speak of any other sport. I am not here to argue about other sports. I am in the baseball
business. It has been run cleaner than any business that was ever put out in the 100 years at the present time. I am not speaking about television or I am
not speaking about income that comes into the ball parks. You have to take that off. I don’t know too much about it. I say the ballplayers have a
better advancement at the present time.
That’s quite an oration. Most of us would have quit talking after the first seven words.
Because of the e-newsletter’s large readership, please submit your English usage questions through GrammarBook.com’s “Grammar Blog.”
Free BONUS Quiz for You!
[[firstname]], because you are a subscriber to the newsletter, you get access to one of the Subscription Members-Only Quizzes. Click here to take a Confusing Words and Homonyms Quiz and get your scores and explanations instantly!
More Good News for Quiz Subscribers
We are pleased to announce that we have added even more quizzes to help you challenge yourself, your students, and your staff. We added quizzes to existing categories and created some new categories such as “Confusing Verbs,” “Subjunctive Mood,” “Comprise,” and “Sit vs. Set vs. Sat.”
We reviewed and strengthened every quiz on our website to ensure consistency with our rules and guidelines contained in the eleventh edition of The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation.
If you think you have found an error in a quiz, please email us at email@example.com.
“So convenient … hundreds of quizzes in one click.”
[[firstname]], Subscribe to receive hundreds of English usage quizzes not found anywhere else!
- Take the quizzes online or download and copy them.
- Get scored instantly.
- Find explanations for every quiz answer.
- Reproduce the quizzes to your heart’s content.
- EASY to use.
- No software to download.
- No setup time.
- A real person to help you if you have any questions!
Instructors and Employers: we make your life easier!
- Assign quizzes to your students or employees.
- Students log in from anywhere.
- Scores are tallied and compiled for you.
- You decide whether to let students see their own scores and quiz explanations.
- Let GrammarBook.com take the hassle out of teaching English!
“Fun to test my skills!”
“The explanations really help … thanks!”
Your choice: Subscribe at the $29.95 or $99.95 level ($30 off - previously $129.95).
“I download the quizzes for my students who don’t have computer access.”
Subscribe today to receive hundreds of English usage quizzes not found anywhere else!
“Makes learning English FUN!”
Don’t need all the quizzes at once?
You can now purchase the same quizzes individually for ONLY 99¢ each. Purchase yours here.
Get Yours Today!
Get Amazon’s No. 1 Best-seller in Four Categories!
No. 1 in Grammar
No. 1 in Reading
No. 1 in Lesson Planning
No. 1 in Vocabulary
The Blue Book of Grammar
by Jane Straus, Lester Kaufman, and Tom Stern
The Authority on English Grammar!
Eleventh Edition Now Available
Have You Ordered Your Copy Yet?
An indispensable tool for busy professionals, teachers, students, homeschool families, editors, writers, and proofreaders.
Available in print AND as an e-Book! Over 2,000 copies are purchased every month!
Order Your Copy Today!
- Hundreds of Grammar, Punctuation, Capitalization, and Usage Rules
- Real-World Examples
- Spelling / Vocabulary / Confusing Words
- Quizzes with Answers
The publisher is extending its pre-publication discount offer until April 30, 2015! If you live in the United States or Canada, order the new edition of The Blue Book
through Wiley.com and get 30 percent off and FREE shipping. Simply go to bit.ly/1996hkA and use discount code E9X4AYY.
For those of you who live outside the U.S. and Canada, although the publisher is not able to offer free shipping, you will get 35 percent off to help offset your shipping costs. Simply go to bit.ly/1996hkA and use discount code E9X4A.
Reading while sunbathing makes you well red.
When two egotists meet, it's an I for an I.
What's the definition of a will? (It's a dead giveaway.)
Learn all about who and whom, affect and effect, subjects and verbs, adjectives and adverbs, commas, semicolons, quotation marks, and much more by just sitting back and enjoying these easy-to-follow lessons. Tell your colleagues (and boss), children, teachers, and friends. Click here to watch.