The Penguin Dictionary For Writers And Editors

Author: Bill Bryson
Editor: Ayer Publishing
ISBN: 9780140512021
Size: 10,25 MB
Format: PDF
Read: 338

Bryson S Dictionary For Writers And Editors

Author: Bill Bryson
Editor: Random House
ISBN: 1407094394
Size: 11,22 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
Read: 541

What is the difference between cant and jargon, or assume and presume? What is a fandango? How do you spell supersede? Is it hippy or hippie? These questions really matter to Bill Bryson, as they do to anyone who cares about the English language. Originally published as The Penguin Dictionary for Writers and Editors, Bryson's Dictionary for Writers and Editors has now been completely revised and updated for the twenty-first century by Bill Bryson himself. Here is a very personal selection of spellings and usages, covering such head-scratchers as capitalization, plurals, abbreviations and foreign names and phrases. Bryson also gives us the difference between British and American usages, and miscellaneous pieces of essential information you never knew you needed, like the names of all the Oxford colleges, or the correct spelling of Brobdingnag. An indispensable companion to all those who write, work with the written word, or who just enjoy getting things right, it gives rulings that are both authoritative and commonsense, all in Bryson's own inimitably goodhumoured way.

Freelance Proofreading And Copy Editing

Author: Trevor Horwood
Editor: Freelance Proofreading . . .
ISBN: 9780952397472
Size: 20,49 MB
Format: PDF
Read: 197

Bryson S Dictionary Of Troublesome Words

Author: William Bryson
Editor: Anchor Canada
ISBN: 0385679963
Size: 15,44 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
Read: 727

One of the English language's most skilled and beloved writers guides us all towards precise, mistake-free usage. In the middle 1980s Bill Bryson was a copy editor for the London Times with the brash idea that he could fill a hole in the British book market for a concise, accessible, handy guide to proper usage. A complete unknown, he nonetheless sold Penguin Books on the idea, and the result was The Penguin Dictionary of Troublesome Words, which sold decently enough on both sides of the Atlantic. Now, fifteen years later, Bill Bryson has become, well, Bill Bryson -- and his terrifically useful little book has been revised, updated and Americanized to become Bryson's Dictionary of Troublesome Words. Precise, prescriptive, sometimes (like its author) amusingly prickly, this book belongs on the desk of every person who cares enough about our language not to maul or misuse or distort it. Move over, Strunk and White.

Collins Dictionary For Writers And Editors

Author: Martin H. Manser
Editor: Harpercollins Pub Limited
ISBN: 9780007203512
Size: 16,42 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
Read: 190

Well-known or well known? Affect or effect? Majorca or Mallorca? Royal Family or royal family? Spell check cannot be relied upon to help with the trickier aspects of the English language. Even the most sophisticated writers of English will be faced with questions and problems in the quest for clear, elegant and correct writing. This reference answers these questions, and thousands of other usage conundrums, with a comprehensive collection of entries designed to sweep the minefield of the English language.

Penguin Writers Guides How To Write Better English

Author: Robert Allen
Editor: Penguin UK
ISBN: 0141941359
Size: 15,91 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
Read: 538

The Penguin Writers' Guides series provides authoritative, succinct and easy-to-follow guidance on specific aspects of written English. Whether you need to brush up your skills or get to grips with something for the first time, these invaluable Guides will help you find the best way to get your message across clearly and effectively. This essential guide covers the key rules - and pitfalls - of written and spoken grammar. It covers such areas as: the building blocks of language, common errors and misconceptions, choosing the right level of expression, differences between British and American English, and political correctness. It also discusses various uses of language, from creative writing, CVs and reports to verbal presentations, and business and personal letters, with many useful suggestions for accurate and fluent English.

The Penguin Dictionary Of American English Usage And Style

Author: Paul W. Lovinger
Editor: Penguin Group USA
ISBN: 9780142000465
Size: 11,21 MB
Format: PDF
Read: 502

Features more than one thousand primary entries, along with more than two thousand examples of questionable style and the misuse of language, providing valuable lessons for students, writers, and speakers.

The Penguin Dictionary Of American English Usage And Style Lovinger 2000

Author: Penguin Books, Ltd
Editor: Bukupedia
Size: 11,81 MB
Format: PDF
Read: 468

Aim; Form The volume in your hands is meant to be both useful and enjoyable, a readable dictionary for all who are interested in our language. In A-to-Z form, it is mainly a guide to good usage of English, the American variety, contrasted with some 2,000 quoted examples of misusage and questionable usage. It does the job of “illuminating many traps and pitfalls in English usage” (as my editor puts it). I have sought to provide clear explanations in plain language. This book is designed for general readers as well as those who work with words. The examples were drawn from the popular press, broadcasting, books, and a variety of other sources, mostly in the latter eighties and the nineties. Each entry devoted to a specific word or phrase contains one or more of those quotations. The troublesome forms are contrasted with the proper forms (which are emphasized by italics) and definitions are given. Entries on general topics are presented too; they deal with matters of grammar, punctuation, style, and so on. A list of them, with further description of the two types of entry, appears under “General Topics,” following this introduction. With few exceptions, the examples have determined the choices of word entries. Thus the book in part amounts to an informal survey of contemporary problems in English usage. Both perennial problems and new ones come up. Of the misuses discouraged by earlier books on English usage, some persist; others have not turned up, but, as though to take their place, new offenses against the language have emerged. Here are some hints for finding your way around the volume: • Main entries, headed in boldface, are arranged alphabetically, letter by letter. • Many entries are divided into sections, which are numbered and titled. The sections of an entry are arranged alphabetically, and their titles are listed at the beginning, after the main title. Some sections contain subsections, distinguished by letters and titles. • There are numerous crossreferences, some standing alone and others within entries. For instance, in the C’s under Comma it says See Punctuation, 3, referring the reader to the entry. Many entries refer to related entries. Alphabetical order is used in listing any series of crossreferences and various other series. last entry vii introduction Watching Our Words Viewpoint This work could be viewed as an antidote to laissez-faire lexicography and anything-goes grammar. The doctrine that whatever emerges from people’s lips is the language and that many verbal wrongs make a right is not advocated here. Nor is the cliché of English as “a living language” dragged in to justify bad English. On the contrary, I do not hesitate to distinguish between right and wrong usage when the difference is clear. My inclination is to question deviant forms, challenge innovations to prove themselves, and resist senseless fads. (See also the final section of this introduction.) I thereby risk being labeled a “purist” by some critics—as though impurity were desirable. Perhaps in a long-range, philosophical sense there is no verbal right and wrong. But that view does not help you and me in choosing our words and putting together our sentences clearly and properly according to the educated norms of society. Those holding the permissive views follow most of the norms themselves. They do not say or write, “Them guys hasn’t came,” or “I ain’t did nothin nohow,” although some people are apt to do so. For the most part, the laws of grammar have not been repealed. Not that one should be pedantic either. The book does not flatly condemn split infinitives, prepositions at the end of sentences, conjunctions at the beginning, sentence fragments, or phrases like “It’s me.” But it does value precision over fashion, logic over illogic, and grammatical correctness over “political correctness.” (In my view, those who mutilate our language for political motives do wrong.) At times the difference between correct and incorrect usage is hazy. English has an abundance of words,* more than any other language, and multiple ways to express almost any idea. Our language is so complex that nobody ever learns it all and that even its leading authorities occasionally stumble. They disagree and one finds fault with another. Their differences concern both specific points and standards of strictness or looseness in the use of words and grammar. Some loose uses of words or phrases and some slang that may pass harmlessly in informal conversation are inappropriate when transferred to serious writing or even serious speech. This book will help the reader to make sound choices. Examples Samples of sentences that clearly fall into the wrong category follow. The first few are (alternately) by professionals of broadcasting and journalism. A correction follows each quotation. (Each comes up in the main text.) “There were roofs completely tore up.” Torn up. “I like to serve it with croutons . . . that is flavored with olive oil.” Are flavored. “Police said ——— and ——— built the bombs theirselves.” Themselves. “It would be more racism showing it’s ugly head again.” Its. “There is a way to empower your viii introduction *The Oxford English Dictionary, seeking to record all English words, says it covers more than 500,000 words and phrases in its twenty volumes. The Guinness Book of World Records places the count at more than 600,000 words plus 400,000 technical terms, a total exceeding a million. It numbers the Shakespearean vocabulary at 33,000 words and expresses doubt that any person uses more than 60,000. children and make them far more better . . . students.” Delete “more.” “Women have smaller brains then men.” Than. “The . . . campaign has got to break into the double digits to be respectful.” Respectable. (Headline:) “Be Happy She Prys.” Pries. Additional slip-ups, by people in other fields, include these: (Advertising:) “I always wanted to loose weight.” Lose. (Book publishing:) “Allow someone else to proofread [edit?] it . . . who will not be affraid to be biased in their opinion.” Afraid to be unbiased in his opinion. (Diplomacy:) “It is quite clear that the crisis has reached a critical point.” Better: the dispute or the situation. (Education:) “Me and my kids live in a dormitory.” I and. (Law:) “No one is free to flaunt the tax laws.” Flout. (Medicine:) “We’re obligated to do that biopsy irregardless of the physical findings.” Regardless. (Psychology:) “Their child don’t look so good.” Doesn’t look. The book debunks some widespread misbeliefs. If we do not fully understand the meanings of certain words or if we accept some clichés on their faces, we may believe that fury rages in the “eye” of a storm; a “fraction” is a small part; the character “Frankenstein” was a monster; to “impeach” an official is to oust him from office; a jury can find a defendant “innocent”; pencils contain the metal “lead”; a “misdemeanor” is not a crime; prostitution is the “oldest profession”; an exception “proves” a rule; the Constitution guarantees “the pursuit of happiness”; and so on. The criticism of any extract does not negate the overall merit of the work that is quoted.* Clarity Clarity is a leading theme of this book. More than 100 entries deal with the problem of ambiguity (noun): the state of being ambiguous (adjective), able to be interpreted in two or more different ways. Consider this sentence: “When P—— was hired by H——, he had a criminal record.” Which one is “he”? (That example is from Pronouns, 1. Consult also the cross-reference Ambiguity and the next section of this introduction, Wounded Words. General examples of fuzzy prose appear in Verbosity and other entries.) Clear expression requires clear thinkintroduction ix *Of 2,000-odd examples of misusage or questionable usage, almost half originated with newspapers, news agencies, or magazines; about a fifth each with broadcasters and books; and a tenth with people in many other fields or miscellaneous sources, described in the text. A few appeared in other reference works. The single most frequent source of examples was The New York Times (usually the national edition), which occasionally is quoted here approvingly too. Newspapers distributed in the San Francisco Bay area and TV and radio broadcasts heard there were significant sources. Dozens of other newspapers, from most regions of the country, yielded examples too. So did 120 books, mostly nonfiction. Some correct or incorrect examples, not counted above, were composed where fitting. The sources of the quotations are not usually identified by name. Space did not permit the publication of a list of such sources (although it had been contemplated). But a variety of reference works consulted as sources of information are listed in the back of the book. ing. It helps also to be versed in the distinctions among words and in the elements of grammar, including tense, number, mood, parts of speech, sentence structure, and punctuation. Even so, clarity may not survive hastiness, inability to express ideas simply, intentional hedging, lack of facts, language that is too pompous or too slangy, obscurity of ideas or terms, overloading of sentences, overlooking of double meanings, stinginess in using words or punctuation, too little thought, or too much abstraction and generality without concrete examples. Then, too, muddiness and confusion can overcome our best efforts. Writers on the English language often compare it with other languages and glory in its complexity, variety, and subtlety. Yet the language is so complex, with varieties of expression so vast, subtleties so fine, and such a proliferation of word meanings, that it can trap any of us at some time or other. Unqualified praise helps no one. Let us be aware of the difficulties and try to overcome them. Greater efforts to write and speak clearly, accurately, and sensibly would mean more understanding, something that society needs. Wounded Words One of the problems is that English is being deprived of the benefit of many distinctive words as looser meanings develop. The addition of the new meanings renders some of the words ambiguous. I call them wounded words. Examples of those words and their strict meanings follow; loose meanings are in parentheses. Which meaning a writer or speaker has intended is not always plain from the context. A fabulous story is one that is characteristic of a fable (or a good story). An impact is a violent contact (or an effect). A legendary figure is mythical (or famous). One who is masterful is dictatorial (or skillful). To scan a document is to examine it carefully and systematically (or quickly and superficially). If a scene is a shambles, it shows evidence of bloodshed (or disorder). If an incident transpired this year, this year is when it became known (or happened). When an ultimatum is given, a threat of war is issued (or a demand is made). That which is viable is able to live (or feasible).* Many loose or questionable uses are widespread. Does that mean we have to follow suit? Of course not. Save the Language New words continually appear. Those that fill needs are generally desirable. What ought to be questioned or resisted are the watering-down of distinctive words that we already have, the creation of ambiguity and fuzziness, the breakdown of grace and grammar, and irrational verbal fads. Change characterizes the history of English; but whereas innovations in the main language used to be tested slowly by time, and street slang usually stayed there, they are now both thrust upon the public almost instantly by the media of mass communication. x introduction *Among words in similar condition are these: accost, alibi, anticipate, bemuse, brandish, brutalize, burgeon, careen, classic, cohort, compendium, connive, cool, culminate, decimate, desecrate, destiny, dilemma, disaster, effete, eke, endemic, enormity, erstwhile, exotic, fantastic, formidable, fortuitous, fraction, gay, idyllic, incredible, increment, internecine, jurist, literal, livid, marginal, mean (noun), minimize, neat, obscene, outrageous, paranoid, pristine, quite, sure, travesty, unique, utilize, verbal, virtual, vital, weird, wherefore, willy-nilly. The words emphasized in this section have separate entries. Our language is an invaluable resource, as much a part of our heritage as forests, wildlife, and waters. Yet where are movements for verbal conservation? Who campaigns to save endangered words? When do we ever see demonstrations against linguistic pollution? To support the cause of good English, you and I need not join a group, attend rallies, or give money. We can contribute every day by knowing the language, shunning the fads, and watching our words. P.W.L. San Francisco


Size: 20,10 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
Read: 287