If John Lennon, Gertrude Stein, Stephen Hawking, and Mother Goose had conspired to write a grammar book, GRAM-O-RAMA would be it.

Designed for word-lovers and students in the classroom, this textbook contains dozens of unconventional exercises geared toward learning grammar. Its interactive method offers students and teachers a smart and accessible approach by encouraging writers to experiment with grammatical functions, style, rhythm, and sound.

GRAM-O-RAMA is a language game book for general audience as well as a textbook suitable for students from middle school to university. It contains dozens of writing exercises, some directed to grammar, others of the musical side of language (puns, nonsense, metaphor, wordplay, etc.).With its lively, often philosophical text, a helpful glossary, charts for conjugations, definitions of parts of speech and grammatical terms, reference tables for pronunciation, historical derivations, and multi-lingual similarities of word sounds, and with a variety of writing exercises accompanied by examples, GRAM-O-RAMA, radically modernizes the grammar lesson.The dominant theory behind GRAM-O-RAMA is that students of writing best learn grammar by hearing its application rather than by memorizing its rules. In reading and performing the textbook’s exercises out loud, students come to understand and appreciate grammar in a new, irresistible way. Rules are included, but they are for backup reference. The musical exercises encourage the writer to experiment with style, to rely on the pitch, rhythm, and sound of words as vehicles towards meaning. GRAM-O-RAMA is a practical, edifying—if irreverent—guide for the lover of words. It challenges the primacy of rules and concentrates on the value of hearing language. All exercises included have been classroom tested—often with hilarious, spellbinding results for both participants and their audiences.


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Praise for Gram-O-Rama:

“Beware, GRAM-O-RAMA is a dangerous book. It takes the cautions and rules of grammar and drops them into a fun house. I experienced many of these exercises in Daphne’s class and still find myself relying on their lessons today. You could make a movie of this book. Or at least a theme park ride!”
Dave Krinsky, executive producer of TV series,
King of the Hill and screenwriter for Blades of Glory

“Daphne Athas sets words ablaze and puts sentences in flight. Every student and every teacher, every writer and every editor, could benefit from her visionary eye and musical ear.”
Alane Salierno Mason, senior editor, W. W. Norton & Company,
founding editor of www.wordswithoutborders.org

“This book is not only charming and amusing, but profound in the way it forces the reader to see our language afresh, as something alive and throbbing with possibilities. Indispensable reading.”
Randall Kenan, associate professor of English, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, author of A Visitation of Spirits

“Not your grandma’s grammar, these irresistible exercises prod and provoke, delight and inspire. They rattle students (and teachers) out of boredom, apathy, and fear and awaken them to the power and possibilities of language.”
Elizabeth Moose, instructor of English, North Carolina School of Science and Math







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