Thursday, July 23, 2009

Formal launching of Jose Carillo's third book on English usage

I would like to take this opportunity to share this media release about the formal launching of my third book on English usage:

Give Your English the Winning Edge, the third book in Jose Carillo’s English-usage trilogy, was formally launched last July 20 in ceremonies at the Centennial Hall A of The Manila Hotel in Manila.

Carillo and Manila Times Publishing executives led by its president and CEO Dante Francis Ang II were joined during the launching by Dr. Isagani R. Cruz, the multi-awarded writer, critic, and educator; Dr. Ma. Lourdes Bautista, professor emeritus of English and applied linguistics of the De La Salle University-Manila; John Nery, senior editor and columnist of the Philippine Daily Inquirer; Ed Maranan, writer and Hall of Famer of the Palanca Awards for Literature, and several other guests. A lively discussion about English usage in Philippine literature and journalism ensued during the program.

The 486-page volume by the National Book Award-winning author discusses the various mechanisms and tools of English for combining words and ideas into clear, logical, and engaging writing. It shows how the various connectives—the conjunctions, the conjunctive adverbs, and the prepositions—establish the six basic logical relationships in language, then demonstrates how to make them work with the various other grammar elements to form more effective, convincing, and readable expositions.

Published by Manila Times Publishing, Give Your English the Winning Edge comes in regular softcover and, by order, in premium hardcover. Copies are now available in the major Metro Manila outlets of National Book Store, Powerbooks, Bestsellers, Goodwill Bookstore, Fully Booked, and Expressions. Distribution to their outlets in major cities outside Metro Manila will follow in the next few weeks.

Browse the book at the Bookshop section of Jose Carillo's English Forum


Jose Dalisay, Jr., PhD, Director of the Institute of Creative Writing, University of the Philippines: “Jose A. Carillo’s Give Your English the Winning Edge is the latest book in a series of what’s become the definitive guide to the English language for Filipinos (and Americans, the English, and others). It builds on the foundations Carillo raised in English Plain and Simple and The 10 Most Annoying English Grammar Errors to present the reader with ways to gain mastery over the English language by showing how such seemingly simple but tricky concepts as ellipsis, paragraph transitions, modifiers, parallelism, and negation work. More than a grammar textbook, Give Your English the Winning Edge is an enjoyable, invigorating, and often challenging romp through the hills and valleys of language, profusely illustrated with both local and foreign examples. Fans of Carillo—count me among them—will not be disappointed. He makes perfect sense of what I and other professional writers have been trying to do intuitively over these past many years.”

John Nery, Senior Editor and Columnist, Philippine Daily Inquirer: “‘Our words define us,’ writes the preternaturally positive Jose Carillo. Yes, and our sentences reveal us for who we are. In Give Your English the Winning Edge, Carillo offers 155 well-tempered essays on grammar, usage, and style that we can read—that we must read—to help us in our own acts of revelation. His loving mastery of the English language is a source of hope—and a happy standard we can all aspire to.”

Ma. Lourdes S. Bautista, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Department of English and Applied Linguistics, De La Salle University-Manila: “Obviously, Jose Carillo loves the English language, knows his grammar, and has a style so engaging that he makes learning grammar almost painless. Indeed, the book can well be subtitled ‘English Grammar Without Tears or Fears.’ On top of everything, he is up-to-date on current thinking about grammar, ably highlighting the distinction between formal and informal style and deftly tackling the issue of sexist language.”

Sonny Coloma, PhD in Organizational Development; Professor, Asian Institute of Management, and columnist, Business World: “This book provides a much-needed boost to the advocacy for correct and proper English speaking and writing. It is a timely resource book, especially for younger Filipinos and their parents, considering the way the current culture of text messaging has caused a massive depreciation of our ability to speak and write good English.”

Maria Luz C. Vilches, PhD, Associate Professor and Dean of the School of Humanities, Loyola Schools, Ateneo de Manila University: “In an engaging way, this book offers a comprehensive understanding and appreciation of how the English language works for good, effective, and winning communication. It meticulously focuses on the grammatical makeup of English and its impact on making meaning, then considers problematic usage and how it can be avoided by paying attention to appropriate register and style in given communication contexts. Students, teachers, and professionals can trust this book to be their companion to success!”

Ed Maranan, Carlos Palanca Hall of Fame writer; winner, NCCA Writer’s Prize for the English essay: “With his first two books, we thought that Jose Carillo had given us sufficient ammunition to overcome our inadequacies with English. Now he offers up yet another excellent guide to the grammatical rules and correct usage of the world’s global language. The table of contents appears daunting, but one feels rewarded with a new-found confidence after going through the book. This is definitely essential reading for teachers, columnists and reporters, lawyers, public officials, job seekers, and all those who need to be competent and credible in their use of English. For the accomplished as well as for the aspiring writer, reading this book promises to be a delightful voyage of discovery.”


  1. STOP SPAMMING MY E-mail!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Get a life you desperate idiot!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Please calm down and identify yourself. No need to use so violent a language--with no less than 26 exclamation marks besides! Your e-mail address must have been inadvertently included in my mailing list. Sorry for that. Just drop me a line indicating your e-mail address and I'll see to it that it's taken out of the mailing list right away. It's all that simple really.

  3. Please do not overestimate the position of English.

    I live in London and if anyone says to me “everyone speaks English” my answer is “Listen and look around you”. If people in London do not speak English then the whole question of a global language is completely open.

    The promulgation of English as the world’s “lingua franca” is impractical and linguistically undemocratic. I say this as a native English speaker!

    Impractical because communication should be for all and not only for an educational or political elite. That is how English is used internationally at the moment.

    Undemocratic because minority languages are under attack worldwide due to the encroachment of majority ethnic languages. Even Mandarin Chinese is attempting to dominate as well. The long-term solution must be found and a non-national language, which places all ethnic languages on an equal footing is essential. As a native English speaker, my vote is for Esperanto :)

    Your readers may be interested in seeing Professor Piron was a former translator with the United Nations

    A glimpse of the global language,Esperanto, can be seen at

  4. My country needs English as a linguistic bridge

    Dear Brian,

    Yes, I agree with you that we shouldn’t overestimate the position of English, but I think that we shouldn’t underestimate it either. In the Philippines, in particular, English is very important to us because it’s our second language next to Filipino, our national language; it’s also a major language of instruction in our schools, it’s the official language of our government bureaucracy, and it’s a dominant language in our mass media. Just in case you didn’t know it, our nation has an English-language heritage of over a hundred years, having been colonized for 48 years by the United States, gaining independence from it in 1946 but absorbing and adopting for keeps many of its values and institutional underpinnings—including a democratic tradition and, of course, the English language. It’s therefore no surprise that we value English in our country more than most countries in Asia and elsewhere in the world do.

    There’s one other very important reason why we put a premium to English in our land. You see, unlike Britain and the rest of the United Kingdom that use only English or a few dialects or variants of it, the Philippines has a total of 160 regional dialects—many of them different languages in themselves. Indeed, our official national language—Filipino—is simply one of our regional languages—Tagalog—that we are still in the process of transforming into a true national language. Indeed, Filipino is still very much a national language in the making, and I must point out that one or two of the country’s regions are fiercely opposed to it, each claiming that its regional language has more speakers than Tagalog and should therefore be the national language instead—or else be left alone and be allowed to use its own regional language as its official language of instruction.

    Given such a situation, the Philippines needs a language to bridge the various linguistic aspirations and needs of its regions. Whether we like it or not, this is the role being ably played by English in our country today, and the foundations for English being already strong and sinewy in our country, I really don’t see any reason why we should add Esperanto to the babel of regional languages and dialects that our country has to contend with at this time. Moreover, the fight between the English-language proponents and the Filipino-language proponents in the Philippines is fierce and contentious enough, so I’m afraid that the entrance of Esperanto and any other new language to the fray may just befuddle us and lead the country to linguistic disaster.

    Joe Carillo

  5. And if I may add, if English is our linguistic bridge, we may be better off if we use that bridge deftly, not clumsily.

  6. Dear Joe,
    As an English born Esperanto speaker I have reaped the benefits from using both languages. Although I would be delighted if Esperanto could play a greater role in promoting international communication I can see your point of view.

    In my opinion at the present time the region that would benefit most of all from the adoption of Esperanto as an auxiliary language would be the European Union. Non English speaking member countries of the Union are spending a great deal of their resources on English language learning. Much as I love my mother-tongue it is difficult to learn sufficiently well for effective communication. Travelling around Eastern Europe you can be hard put to find English speakers. Esperanto is easier to learn. Choosing a ‘neutral’ language would also solve the problem of language rivalry in the European Union.

    A global world needs an auxiliary language. It could be that it English is THE language, but it could also be worth while seriously investigating the potential advantages of introducing Esperanto.

    Yours sincerely

    Betty Chatterjee

  7. Dear Betty,

    I’m very sorry for this belated reply. I had to attend to some very pressing matters and had overlooked checking belated responses to my previous postings in my blogspot.

    I never doubted the value of Esperanto as an auxiliary language. In fact, if only I didn’t have to contend with two regional languages of my own apart from Filipino—the emerging variant of Tagalog—and English as well, I would have wanted to learn another foreign language. That foreign language could very well have been Esperanto, but I must admit that there are practical limits to my absoption of a new language now, particularly the availability of discretionary time for learning it.

    When I was much younger, of course, I wanted to learn as many foreign languages as I could. I tried learning Chinese for what I thought was its commercial value, but somehow my efforts didn’t prosper. I also tried learning Russian for what I felt was its strange, bewitching allure, but I never got far because there was no one in my hometown I could practice the language with in those days—that time when, mind you, the Internet and the World Wide Web weren’t even a pipe dream yet. And finally I tried learning French, but never got beyond learning a few of its terms of endearment.

    So you see, Betty, my language repertoire has by force of circumstance been limited to English, Tagalog (not even the emerging Filipino language with its mind-numbing strange borrowings from Spanish and English), two Bicol languages (some linguistic experts call them dialects but, from my first-hand experience in using these two very different tongues, I know their assessment to be incorrect), and a smattering of a few other Philippine regional tongues—that’s all. And sadly, I must admit, there’s no more room in my brain for Esperanto even if I fervently desired to learn it at this time.

    Still, I agree with you that Esperanto would be perfect for multilingual countries with no bridging language yet. As for me and for many of my countrymen, though, we have already found that bridging language in English.

    Joe Carillo