Magnar Sveen has another episode of his excellent Emacs Rocks up. In this video he talks about
expand-region, an Emacs package that he wrote to help with marking text in an intelligent way. The video is less than 3 minutes so there's no excuse not to take a look. As with all the Emacs Rocks videos, you won't be sorry.
Watch the video and if you like what you see, get the code on github.