||Good grammar pays. No, Iim not making a sentimental statement about the importance of a job well done or the satisfaction of learning for learningis sake, though I believe in both of those values. Iim talking about cold, hard cash, the kind you fold and put into your wallet. Donit believe me? Fine. Try this little test: The next time you go to the movies, tear yourself away from the story for a moment and concentrate on the dialogue. Chances are the characters who have fancy jobs or piles of dough sound different from those who donit. Iim not making a value judgment here; Iim just describing reality. Proper English, either written or spoken, tends to be associated with the upper social or economic classes. Tuning up your grammar muscles doesnit guarantee your entry into the Bill Gates income tax bracket, but poor grammar may make it much harder to fight your way in. Another payoff of good grammar is better grades and an edge in college admissions. Teachers have always looked more favorably on nicely written sentences, and grammar has recently become an additional hurdle that applicants must jump over or stumble through when they sit for the SAT or the ACT, the two most important standardized tests for the college bound. The good news is that you donit have to spend a lifetime improving your English. Ten minutes here, ten minutes there, and before you know it, your grammar muscles will be toned to fighting strength. This book is the equivalent of a health-club membership for your writing and speaking skills. Like a good health club, it doesnit waste your time with lectures on the physiology of flat abs. Instead, it sends you right to the mat and sets you up with the exercises that actually do the job.