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The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage:
"A foolish consistency," Emerson insisted, "is the hobgoblin of little minds." That may well be, but editors have enough reasons to reject your work; don't let sloppy inconsistencies be one of them. The New York Times Manual of Style & Usage was written for the paper's editors and writers, but it is a fine, up-to-date resource for anyone's use. Our language is ever-mutating, and a guide such as this will ensure that you understand the impact your words might have before they reach print. Should you use Native Americans or American Indians? Debark or disembark? Did you know that thermos is no longer a trademark, but that Popsicle and Dumpster are? Writing, when you get down to it, is nothing more than the careful choosing of words. This style book will ensure that you don't choose carat when you mean karat, jury-rigged when you want jerry-built, chow chow when chowchow is called for, or V-8 when you could have had a V8. A naysayer may bridle against the strictures of such a rule book, but the authors believe "the rules should encourage thinking, not discourage it." Plus, "a rule," they say, "can shield against untidiness in detail that might make readers doubt large facts." We'd call the book "user-friendly," but that, we've learned, can be downright "reader-tiresome." --Jane Steinberg [via]