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Your Own Words
ISBN 158243283X / 9781582432830 / 1-58243-283-X
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As the author of the Word Court columns that appear in The Atlantic Monthly, Barbara Wallraff is one of America's most widely read and beloved writers on language. Now, in Your Own Words, Wallraff guides the reader through a variety of intriguing questions about English-and simultaneously explains how you, too, can be a language expert. On one level, Your Own Words is about dictionaries, stylebooks, usage manuals, visual dictionaries, thesauri, writing guides, and the Internet: the strengths and weaknesses of these and other language- reference sources, where the sources disagree, and the ways in which even educated people misunderstand them. On a deeper level, however, Your Own Words is about how to make good form your own-to reach your own conclusions and develop a style that expresses you at your best. Illuminated throughout with anecdotes and selections from the Word Court columns, Your Own Words accomplishes what very few books on usage even attempt: It shows everyone with an interest in words-amateur, professional, student, or graduate -how to think about what goes into good style. [via]