This conversational, self-reflective guide helps readers understand the social judgments that accompany language use뾪aking them feel they are active participants in shaping their language rather than passive victims of grammar rules that someone imposes on them. Supplementing traditional grammar terms with insights gained by modern linguistic analysis, it describes English as an instrument of communication, and lays the necessary groundwork for thinking about language so users can apply their knowledge of language in ways most useful to them. Explores the basics of English, beginning with a discussion of the development of a standard English language and the origins of our present day rules of English and attitudes towards usage; initiates the study of grammar, emphasizing the complex interaction between language rules and behavior; talks about how one approaches the study of the structure of a language; and finally, works from the lowest levels of grammatical organization to the highest뾱tarting with an analysis of words and working up to the level of the sentence. Offers many different types of exercises that encourage readers to think, talk, and write about English in real-world contexts with increasing confidence and sophistication. For writers, communications professionals, and anyone interested in acquiring a better understanding of how the English language works.