All Articles
All Articles
CULTURE

The Elements of F*cking Style

Tweet your favorite grammar mistake for a chance to win a modern parody of Strunk & White

by Mike Giles
on 08 July 2011
ElementsofStyle-1.jpg

Typically when sending a text, Tweet or Facebook post, correct grammar takes the backseat to witty punctuation or uber-abbreviation. We may be devolving into "chatspeak," but as the foundation of any language, grammar remains an essential tool even in the digital age.

Bringing life to such a humdrum subject is no simple task. Enter Chris Baker and Jacob Hansen's new book The Elements of F*cking Style. Fresh off of the Thomas Dunne Books and St. Martin's Press, the "helpful parody" addresses everything from common questions like "What the hell is a pronoun?" to conundrums like "Does not using paragraphs or periods make my thesis read like it was written by a mental patient?"

ElementsofStyle-2.jpg

Baker is offering a copy of the book to the first five CH readers who Tweet at him (@funkmastabaker) with their favorite grammar f*ck up by a friend or public figure. To see what makes it such an enticing offer, check out our brief interview with the grammar-savvy author below.

You typically run a website, is this your first printed publication?

"Elements" is our first foray into the printed world, but the genesis of the idea began with the website "The Fucking Word of the Day," which was based off the insight that learning can be made fun if you swap out boring, stale examples for those that use sex, drugs and swearing.

Why produce a physical book?

Despite its austere reputation, we've always considered grammar to be among the most sensual of all academic subjects. As a result, we wanted to present our material by way of a physical medium. The iPad and Kindle are great, and we won't bemoan any customers who choose to download the book instead of springing for the hard copy. Having said that, our goal really was to create a book that could be shoved into a back pocket on the way out of the house, and then put back onto the bookshelf in the evening. Plus, it's great for swatting flies, which can be of great benefit in a dorm room or office cubicle.

ElementsofStyle-3.jpg
So what can we look forward to next?

Next, there will be a book more closely related to vocabulary. I'm also working on a book on cinema, and a number of other web related projects.

"The Elements of F*cking Style: A Helpful Parody" is available online at Amazon for $10, and also at various independent bookstores.

The CH25 is a showcase of creators and innovators from a broad range of disciplines who are currently working to drive the world forward.

Jonathan Sparks

Reinventing electronic music by inventing multi-disciplinary instruments

Read More
Recorded music is becoming so cheap, so the value of music is now in live performance

Tal Danino

The bioengineer who’s programming DNA to fight cancer

Read More
[Manipulating genes] is very new, people are just learning how to program these organisms

Tarren Wolfe

The next-generation appliance making kitchens greener—literally

Read More
Our goal is to provide food for everyone in the world, and the best place to start is in our very own community

Kathleen Supové

The NYC performance artist who’s radically reinventing the piano recital

Read More
I like pieces that are virtuosic, that show off the piano and what it can do, and are awe-inspiring

Melissa Kushner

Addressing the needs of orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi through microenterprise

Read More
Poverty is complicated, there is an increasing temptation and pressure in the development space to oversimplify things

George Arriola and Monohm

An heirloom electronic for the post-smartphone era

Read More
We agonized during the design process as all hyper-obsessed craftspeople should

Matt Kenyon

Fusing art and technology to disrupt concepts of corporate America

Read More
I want the work to live in the world and circulate, so it can generate more dialogue

Sarah Kunst

The entrepreneur single-handedly changing the landscape for women in tech

Read More
People who live on a planet that is half women but can never seem to find any when they need one, I have solved your problem

Sabine Seymour

A future where smart clothes are as ubiquitous as zippers

Read More
In the future you will not buy a piece of 'functional' clothing without SoftSpot

Lulu Mickelson

A civic leader bringing change to NYC through design

Read More
Human-centered design is one of the many tools that we can use to better engage the public

Joshua Harker

Pushing the boundaries of sculpture with intricate 3D printing

Read More
My intent was to explore and depict the architecture of the imagination, to interpret and share forms evident in the mind’s eye

Corinne Joachim Sanon

The chocolatier bringing social change to Haiti and bean-to-bar chocolate to the world

Read More
Seeing the poverty surrounding me and the lack of jobs and opportunity bothered me

Marcus Weller

Using technology to turn motorcycle helmet design on its head

Read More
I was taken aback both by the number of people that doubted it, and by the equally large number of people that got behind it

Leopoldine Huyghues Despointes

The young filmmaker and non-profit founder who just wants people to follow their dreams

Read More
I feel confident and ready to accomplish so much more, the movement is on

Pauline van Dongen

The Dutch designer blazing the wearable technology path

Read More
I’m fascinated by concepts of change, movement, energy and perception; since they are closely related to the way we experience the world

Eelke Plasmeijer

The locally driven restaurant that’s upending Balinese food culture

Read More
We really try to keep things simple and let the produce do the talking

Dan Barasch + James Ramsey

A quest to make the future brighter—underground

Read More
We both share a passion for groundbreaking technology and a shared love of New York

Cynthia Breazeal

How an emotional, empathetic robot named Jibo stands to revolutionize communication

Read More
The thing that's so provocative about social robots is that it's fundamentally a community technology

Meredith Perry

How searching the Internet helped a 22-year-old invent wireless electricity

Read More
It’s not about where the information is, it’s about how you use the tools

Douglas Riboud + Justin Guilbert

How a mission to create great coconut water led to a whole new way of doing business

Read More
We’ve made a conscious decision to be as transparent and honest as we can, and let people decide for themselves

LaToya Ruby Frazier

Documenting the slow, troubling change in Braddock, Pennsylvania

Read More
I am not a journalist, I am a conceptual documentary artist using my visual expression for building narratives that are unseen and unheard

Roxie Darling

From un-shampoo to transgender identity, the NYC colorist boldly defining the next chapter of hair

Read More
Hair color is as much a science as it is a craft

Kegan Schouwenburg

Revolutionizing orthotics through 3D-printed insoles

Read More
What orthotics do is they effectively change the geometry of what your alignment is like

Alex Kalman

The tiny museum in Manhattan that’s redefining museums

Read More
The mission is to put this small simple and powerful tool into the hands of as many people as possible

Vanessa Newman

Redesigning pregnancy for the post-gender generation with Butchbaby & Co.

Read More
I want my customers to feel comfortable and unchanged, in that becoming pregnant didn't take away from or compromise their identity
Loading More...