7 ***** and 1 ****

A not-really-a-review review

“My English teacher had been a tall thin man whose blue eyes twinkled out from a face covered with a thick white beard and who gave the impression of being perpetually old. … In my narration I have tried to use the sort of English grammar and punctuation Mr Marsh would approve of. Remember I mentioned my English teacher with the thick white beard who looked like he’d been old forever? That’s Mr Marsh.” [Green eyes, actually.]

Brigid George, Murder in Murloo (Dusty Kent Mysteries Book 1), 2015, Potoroo Press. Kindle Edition.


An Exploration of Our Language and How It Lives and Breathes, February 15, 2014

This is an interesting look at how the English language has and continues to change and grow. It is difficult to put it down once I begin to read it.

Michael Chernikov, New York


Review originally written for “Books and Pals” book blog.
October 3, 2013

Each entry in this book focuses on a specific subject, usually a single word, collection of related words, or a saying, and explores how it is used and misused. Each section discusses proper usage, common mistakes, and has examples from some major newspapers in the UK of the word being used in context, both correctly and not.

That the incorrect examples are so plentiful from sources where the example was composed by a professional wordsmith and approved by an editor who is presumably a expert on such things (the true grammar nerds) shows how hard it is to achieve perfection. But for the grammar-nerd-in-training, this volume should help.

BigAl (With Carmen Sandiego)


Richard Marsh has the key to unlock English.
December 25, 2012

Richard Marsh has the key to unlock English. His understanding of language shines through, his writing is clear as a bell, his love of language sings loud and clear.

Anthony Boff


Insightful, September 6, 2012

A great help in acquiring a finer grasp of the intricacies of the language. Erudite, fascinating and witty – invaluable for all who take delight in English.

Richard Martin
English teacher, Germany


Consult Marsh first

What a cornucopia we have here: so many ticklish questions addressed. Marsh brings a refreshing mix of authority and flexibility. We may all have Fowler on our shelves, but we also know that the Windsors themselves no longer speak the king’s English. This new work does not suffer from the specious egalitarianism of, say, Bergen Evans. Now that I have a copy of Marsh, I expect to begin any usage question with him.

James MacKillop
Syracuse, NY USA
Author of Oxford Dictionary of Celtic Mythology, Myths and Legends of the Celts, Contemporary Irish Cinema and other books.


Un libro tipo “diccionario” muy útil para conocer mejor el inglés

It is a great book. My mother tongue is not English so this book is doubly useful for me.
A mí me ha ayudado mucho para conocer, entender y corregir los errores más comunes que hay en el uso del inglés. Thanks so much, Marsh. []

Beatriz Montero
Tenerife, Spain
Author of The Staircase, Mister Ramón and Mrs Ramona, The Secrets of Storytelling and many other books, and co-author of Two Worlds / Dos mundos: Bilingual Stories from India and Spain / Cuentos bilingües de India y España


Right, wrong, or changing, our language is fun!

Alphabetical listing of words often confused with each other or bungled independently make this book easy to use, and even easier in ebook form where “clicking” to the desired text brings instant gratification. Examples are given of both trending usage and traditional correct usage, so the reader can decide whether to speak (or write) English “like” it is or English “as” it should be.

Mary Grace Ketner
San Antonio, Texas USA


Marsh Makes It Easy

Writers, editors, teachers and readers can benefit from Richard Marsh’s meticulous research and extensive reading by obtaining a copy of this book. Marsh does not merely cite word choice errors as published in several newspapers but also points out why the usage is incorrect and in most cases cites correct usage.

This informative catalogue of 350 entries includes the occasional entertaining item, such as the use of concupiscence (sexual desire) in the Sunday Times, `… he was arrested and sent to Dachau for passive concupiscence in the bomb plot against the Führer … (STim 17/ 5/ 98 p. 8.7)’

The ebook format with convenient functions such as `search’ and `copy’ makes it an enjoyable resource to use. Newspaper editors around the world, and I am thinking of Australia in particular, would benefit from having ‘English Like It Is’ on their laptops.

JB Rowley
Writer and storyteller
Melbourne, Australia



This is a really excellent book – interesting, enligtening and very useful. It has made me think about the English language in a way I have never done before. It’s surprisingly hard to put down – I consulted it to look up something I wasn’t clear about and became completely fascinated, continuing to read on and becoming totally immersed!



Review of the first edition

I would recommend this manual to anyone who writes frequently and already has a good handle on the language. English Like It Is can give you the right tools to polish your piece, business letter or novel, and sharpen your speaking and writing skills.

Reviewed April 2002 on by Sonya Bateman, a freelance writer, editor and novelist from Syracuse, New York.

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