XYG: Examine Your Grammar – An Adult Guide to Language
Mash & Corn
XYG: Examine Your Grammar – An Adult Guide to Language is a US half-fold full-colour zine about grammar basics presented in a way adults with cheeky senses of humour will enjoy. Well, this adult did. Haha.
I feel like I should give some sort of full disclosure that I’m a big grammar nerd, but that will likely become very obvious over the course of this review.
The tone that you may suspect by looking at the cover is absolutely confirmed right on page one. We dive straight into the section on punctuation – the section introduced by this gem:
“Punctuation is like protection: when used properly, it works; when not used properly, there can be unintended consequences.”
From there we get into run-on sentences, the proper use of the Oxford comma, and more. (The Oxford comma reminds me of a NSFW meme that I will put behind the more tag.) Each page has a short, clear description of what is being demonstrated as well as one or two examples. The examples are often illustrated, meaning you may want to be a little careful where you read this. (Not lewd, but certainly cheeky.) Part two touches on parts of speech while part three covers common errors (like who vs whom).
The aesthetic of this zine is great. The type is nice and big so it’s easy to read, the pictures are funny and help the rules presented to stick in your mind, and I do adore an immature giggle. More on the type: emphasised words are put in colour rather than bolded, making it even easier to focus on them.
Some might not been keen on the idea of grammar being taught in terms of bums, breasts, and sex, but I think it’s smart as well as funny. I think using that kind of imagery is a great way to get things like what a participle is fully stuck in your mind. (Of course, with the caveat that you are comfortable with the terms and imagery.)
My one nitpick, and I hate to even mention it because I enjoyed this zine so much, is the lack of any contact details. There’s “Snakebite Publishing” on the back, but Googling that doesn’t get you very far. That being said, it’s always possible that this has been done on purpose, which is why it’s a hesitant nitpick and nothing more.
All up, I think this zine is a funny way to teach adults about grammar. The obvious cautions apply if you’re uncomfortable, but if you are, this is a great zine to pick up. I wish I’d had this zine during my editing course.