YES, I COULD CARE LESS (coming June 18 from St. Martin's Griffin)
is a lively and often personal look at one man’s continuing journey through the obstacle course that some refer to, far too simply, as “grammar.” Bill Walsh argues with both sides in the language wars, the sticklers and the apologists, and even with himself, over the disputed territory and ultimately over whether all this is warfare or just a big misunderstanding. Part usage manual, part confessional and part manifesto, "Yes, I Could Care Less" bounces from sadomasochism to weather geekery, from “Top Chef” to Monty Python, from the chile of New Mexico to the daiquiris of Las Vegas, with Walsh’s distinctive take on the way we write and talk.

In sorting out useful distinctions from mere peeves (not that there's anything wrong with peeves), Walsh proposes some categories of confusion. You'll learn about leaving room, jumping the gun, the millisecond of ambiguity, the living legend and other reasons to stay a stickler on certain points. You'll learn about the binary bind, which explains why it's impossible for a working writer or editor to be consistently liberal on usage matters.

Sample topics:

  • Full-chapter discussions of the "could care less" and "literally" controversies.
  • Loving and hating Strunk and White.
  • Dictionary Dissents ("bootees," really?), Bureaucratic Bungles (there is no Veterans Administration), Reel Messes (frankly, Scarlett, Rhett never said that) and White-Flag Alerts (OK, fine, your healthful dinner is "healthy").

    "Yes, I Could Care Less," like "Lapsing Into a Comma" and "The Elephants of Style," ends with an extensive Curmudgeon's Stylebook chapter. It's there that you'll learn, among other things, that you've never worn an Izod alligator shirt. Or seen one, for that matter.