9781582432823 / 1582432821

Your Own Words: The Bestselling Author of Word Court Explains How to Decipher Decipher the Dictionary, Master the Usage Manual, and Be Your Own Language Expert





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About the book:

If you have a language question, where do you go for the answer? How do you keep proper syntax from sounding stiff, and, on the other hand, how do you keep conversational language from being embarrassingly incorrect? Barbara Wallraff, the author of The Atlantic Monthly's Word Court column, offers answers to these crucial questions. On one level, Your Own Words is a guide to using and understanding language references-dictionaries, thesauruses, stylebooks, usage guides, grammars, writing guides, and the Internet-with emphasis on how the different kinds of resources can help you answer different kinds of questions. On a deeper level, however, Your Own Words is about how to make good form your own. It helps you turn these various, often contradictory references into the tools that every experienced and confident user of language needs.In the world of language commentary, Barbara Wallraff offers an unequaled combination of authority, accessibility, and popularity. Her book shows you how to develop a genuine style that's both correct and personal-a style that expresses you at your best. Illuminated throughout with anecdotes and selections from the Word Court columns, Your Own Words does what very few books on usage even attempt: It shows every reader-amateur, professional, student, or graduate -how to think about what goes into good style.I think her judgment is flawless. I never disagree with her. -Jack Miles, author of God: A Biography

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