All about me, or is it I? Beware the wild pronoun!




Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 1/22/2007

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 7x10
Page Count : 138
ISBN : 9781425107604

About the Book

Readers of this book will capture many wild pronouns, and never start a sentence with me again. All weapons are used to tame our beastly pronouns, to sort out the differences between me and I, and to help everyone to use pronouns correctly.

The pronouns are holding a conference to determine their places in the English language. Me is tired of being an object and although he fights to be allowed to serve as a subject, the conference firmly puts him into his objective place. Mine is so busy with her possessions she has trouble getting to the podium to speak. You is flamboyant and a braggart.

Throughout the book, serious explanations about the pronouns are mixed with humorous discussions amongst the pronouns themselves. Numerous examples provide both correct and incorrect pronoun placement, while exercises (with answers at the back) help readers to put pronouns into their writing.

Serving as a comprehensive reference book, All About Me, Or Is It I? will help anyone who wants to speak or write good English, and who finds pronouns confusing. It can be used as a teaching aid, a reference book, and for intense individual study. Teachers, media staff, parents, writers, speakers, advanced ESL learners, and anyone aged 13 and above will enjoy teaching or learning from this book.

The author, a Canadian academic librarian, has spent most of her life in scholarly libraries and has written extensively in her field.


“Pronouns are tricky things, and they seem to be tricking more people than ever these days. Gwynneth T. Heaton agrees and has brought us a wonderfully worthwhile book called All about me, or is it I? Beware the wild pronoun! And Ms Heaton’s book is here to help us all tame those “wild” pronouns.

Although the subject, as with much English grammar, is not easy, Ms Heaton considers that “anyone ages 13 and above should be able to understand pronouns after studying this book.” She’s right, I think, if you work at it. The book is comprehensive, in that it takes in every aspect of pronoun use and abuse. And Ms Heaton has attempted to make it more palatable, even amusing, by creating a conference in which the various pronouns take part and explain their use…The best aspect of the book are the chunks of examples for each and every pronoun situation …(She has a nice practice of shouting “NO! NO! NO!” with each wrong example, followed by the explanation of what is correct.)”

In The Welland Tribune, July 31, 2007.

“A wonderfully worthwhile book…Ms Heaton is good at showing us the way around correct but odd-sounding usage. For example, in this: “I’m hungry” “Me too.” The “Me” is incorrect. “I” is the correct pronouns but “I too” sounds a little pompous. So the author suggests the simple change, “I am too,” or “So am I.” … The book is complete, it is authoritative … and will help all of us over the age of 13 to improve our English …It is a teaching book, a workbook with practical exercises (answers included), and a reference work. In my humble opinion, it is a prize.”

Jack Bush in The Haliburton County Echo July 20, 2007.

“Mix one part librarian with one part artist and behold a book that makes grammar fun … Gwynneth T. Heaton has created a reference book about pronouns. A pet peeve with grammatically incorrect phrases such as “Her and a buddy are going somewhere” inspired Heaton to set the record straight. The book … is a teaching tool for people 13 and older … She spiced up a drier draft of the book by personifying pronouns like “Himself” and “Me.” In some spots, overused pronouns lament their new found popularity, “I’m being kept a whole lot busier than I was some years ago,” says the character Myself … Heaton drew playful cartoons of cats, camels and lions that she sprinkles on each page. The drawings give the impression that another person has already gone through the book and lovingly decorated it with animals.”

Laura Hendrick in The Peterborough Examiner, July 24, 2007.

“While the teaching of grammar as a separate disciple tends to be out of favour these days, I feel that there is a place for it. In correcting student writing, no English teacher can avoid commenting on the basics of case, number, person and gender when dealing with student errors in the rules of syntax that govern our language. These basics are most easily taught in conjunction with the personal pronoun, and you cover them so well in your useful reference guide.

“Two points that you cover in All about me … and that demonstrate your thorough understanding of English grammar are your references to using the possessive case with gerunds and to making sure that pronouns in apposition to other nouns or pronouns are in the same case as the items being renamed.

“Thanks for the useful teacher guide.”

David Reid, Curriculum Leader, Dept. of English, Earl Haig Secondary School, Toronto

“University of Toronto’s Gwynneth Heaton has written a very helpful book. This should be on the book shelves of all those teaching English or studying English as a second language.”

Iris Ward, in the March 2007, issue of Hi-Rise

““Me and her saw them laughing. Her and him love to go bicycling.”” If you think these sentences look or sound right, then you need to buy this book …This reference book helps readers win the battle between the me and I pronouns and offers humorous discussions on using each pronoun properly. The exercises – with answers in the back – will help you earn an A-plus!”

In Good Times, June 2007, p. 93

“We agree that your book is succinct and informative. It is playful and entertaining in its approach to and handling of the teaching of pronouns. Many parts of this book can be used in the classroom as the needs arise. It is a great instructional tool.”

Annamaria DeNicolais, Teacher/Librarian at St. Margaret School, Toronto.

“It will be a very useful addition to our resources.”

Linda Goldspink, Head of the English Department at Havergal College, Toronto.

“This book looks like a wonderful tool for both students and teachers, and many of the exercises would be useful for my ESL class … the use of both correct and incorrect examples is very helpful for students. This would be a very useful book to have as a teacher resource for the English department or in our library.”

Anna Booth, Englsih Dept./ESL Liaison, Bishop Strachan School, Toronto.

“Gwynneth Heaton … has made what could be a very dry topic into a humorous experience, by the inclusion of droll humour, and little black and white drawings of cats, dogs and other sundry animals, in the margins of the book.”

In The Highlands Communicator, v. 6, issue 17, June 27-July 18, 2007.

About the Author

Gwynneth Heaton, a Canadian born in Toronto, attended the University of Toronto for a BA in history, and a BLS and MLS in library science. She had a varied career in the USA and Canada including the following libraries: the Library of the Canadian Institute for International Affairs in Toronto; Santa Clara County Public Library in San Jose, California; Jackson Library of Business at Stanford University, California; the library of the State University of New York at Binghamton; and the Libraries at the University of Toronto where she directed the Science and Medicine Library, served as Campus Libraries Coordinator, and as Director of Library Outreach. She sat on the University of Toronto Governing Council and on numerous faculty councils and committees.

She has published many articles in the field of librarianship, and some poetry. Her firm grounding in English grammar began at Bishop Strachan School and her interest in grammar continues. Painting in both water-colours and acrylics, she has had paintings in juried shows in Toronto. She painted the cover and the illustrations for this book using artist pencils and India ink.