The Essential Guide to Spelling, Style, Usage, Grammar, and PunctuationBook - 2010
Introduces the essential concepts of good writing and proper grammar, including frequently misused phrases, punctuation, syntax and structure, and writing style.
Written in plain language and avoiding intimidating terminology as much as possible, this guide attempts to forge a middle ground between too little and too much explanation. Explanations are designed to get to the heart of a concept and provide a sense of when and how to use it, along with examples that show what misinterpretations might result if the rule is not followed. In an attempt to liven up the subject matter, usage examples are taken from classic and modern literary works. Unlike many writing handbooks, separate chapters are provided on each punctuation mark, and on issues such as parallel structure, active versus passive voice, and verb tenses. Some sections include self-test exercises. This second edition has been revised to take into account the many changes in writing and academia since the first edition was published in the mid-1980s. Information on the author is not given. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
How does good writing stand out?
If its purpose is to convey facts, findings, or instructions, it need be read only once for its content to be clear. If its purpose is to entertain or to provoke thought, it makes readers want to come back for more.
Revised and updated, this guide covers four essential aspects of good writing:
- Individual words - spelling variations, hyphenation, frequently confused homonyms, frequently misused words and phrases, irregular plurals and negatives, and uses of capitalization and type style to add special meanings
- Punctuation - the role of each mark in achieving clarity and affecting tone, and demonstration of how misuses can lead to ambiguity
- Syntax and structure - agreement of subject and verb, parallel construction, modifiers, tenses, pronouns, active versus passive voice, and more
- Style - advice on the less hard-and-fast areas of clarity and tone, including sentence length and order, conciseness, simplification, reading level, jargon and clichés, and subtlety
Filled with self-test exercises and whimsical literary quotations, Grammatically Correct steers clear of academic stuffiness, focusing instead on practical strategies and intuitive explanations.
Discussions are designed to get to the heart of a concept and provide a sufficient sense of when and how to use it, along with examples that show what ambiguities or misinterpretations might result if the rules are not followed. In cases where there is more than one acceptable way to do something, the approach is not to prescribe one over another but simply to describe the options.
Readers of this book will never break the rules of language again - unintentionally.