Thursday, July 23, 2009

The third book in my English-usage trilogy launched

Give Your English the Winning Edge, the third book in Jose Carillo’s English-usage trilogy, was formally launched last Monday (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.

Carillo, a nationally awarded writer and editor and an internationally awarded corporate communicator, won the National Book Award for linguistics from the Manila Critics Circle in 2005 for his first English-usage book, English Plain and Simple: No-Nonsense Ways to Learn Today’s Global Language. He came out in mid-2008 with his second English-usage book, The 10 Most Annoying English Grammar Errors.

A former newspaper journalist and corporate communications executive, Carillo ran a Metro Manila-based English-language services company as its general manager for nearly five years until mid-2005. He is now an independent editor and communication consultant based in Metro Manila, and writes a weekly English-usage column for both the print and online editions of The Manila Times.

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.

Download photo of book launching of Give Your English the Winning Edge

and of the covers of Jose Carillo’s books from


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.”

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