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American Usage and Style: The Consensus


Publisher:Van Nostrand Reinhold



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About the book:

If there is any agreement among authorities on the English language, it is that there is often disagreement on the use and meaning of words. American Usage and Style removes confusion about these questions, and also about punc-tuation and grammar. The author offers a consensus of style and usage by comparing the judgments of leading authorities, as well as the definitions in seven current dictionaries. Thus he helps writers and other users of language attain greater precision, differentiate meanings, avoid misspellings and grammatical errors, and set the proper tone. With brevity, clarity, wit and humor, this book covers the broad range of common errors, including redundancy, ambiguity, verbiage, objectionable euphemisms, and pompous usages that often mislead the reader and distort a precise and beautiful language. Roy H. Copperud examines different levels of style and demolishes superstitions about what is right and wrong. He compares such well known and respected works as Fowler's Dictionary of Modern English Usage (as revised by Sir Ernest Gowers), the Evanses' Dictionary of Contempo-rary American Usage, Webster's Third New International Dictionary, and the American Heritage and Random House dictionaries. He cites the range of opinions, offers the conŽsensus on disputed points and gives his own commentary. This volume deals with all the troublesome words and phrases the reader is likely to en-counter in reading, writing, or everyday speech, from accept and A.D. to Ms., rime, shekels, and zoom. It notes the distinctions between British and American usage. The book also clarifies the fine points concerning commas, vulgarities, spellings, prepositions, journalese, dangling modifiers, misquotations, and a host of other components of language that can baffle all but the most linguistically erudite. Designed to help readers make intelligent choices, American Usage and Style is a store-house of fascinating, useful information.

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