NR Digital

Old School

by Charlotte Hays

The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Getting Ahead: Dos and Don’ts of Right Behavior, Tough Thinking, Clear Writing, and Living a Good Life, by Charles Murray (Crown Business, 144 pp., $17.95)

I’m, like, digging Charles Murray’s new book, which grew — at the suggestion of his colleague Karlyn Bowman — out of in-house tips on grammar and usage for super-smart kids working at the American Enterprise Institute. But oops! A Murray dictum we can all second: “Excise the word ‘like’ from your spoken English.”

I urge you to bestow a copy of this valuable book upon every graduate you know this June. The premise of the first half of this slim volume is that Murray is a curmudgeon much like the ones a new graduate will encounter in the world of full-time work, unless she is seeking a future in the entertainment or IT fields, in which case her boss will likely be young or pretending to be so. By the way, if you don’t know why I used “she” instead of the grammatically abhorrent “they” with a singular verb, an all-too-common usage nowadays, please consult pages 37 and 38 in The Curmudgeon’s Guide.

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