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A Dictionary of Modern American Usage

Bryan A. Garner

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ISBN 10: 0195078535 / ISBN 13: 9780195078534
Editore: Oxford University Press, USA, 1998
Nuovi Condizione: New Rilegato
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Titolo: A Dictionary of Modern American Usage

Casa editrice: Oxford University Press, USA

Data di pubblicazione: 1998

Legatura: Hardcover

Condizione libro:New

Descrizione articolo


In every age, writers and editors need guidance through the thickets of English usage. Although some language issues are perennial (infer vs. imply), many others spring anew from the well of English:
* Is it all right to say alums instead of alumni or alumnae? And should it be spelled alums or alumns?
* Should I say empathic or empathetic? Do you home in or hone in? Is it a couple of dozen or a couple dozen?
* What's the singular of paparazzi? Is paparazzis an acceptable plural? What about graffiti--singular or plural? And what about kudos?
* What's the correct pronunciation of concierge? Or schism? Or flaccid?
This book will tell you. In 750 pages of crisp, precise, and often witty pronouncements on modern American English, Bryan Garner authoritatively answers these and thousands of other questions that bedevil those who care about the language. Garner draws on massive evidence to support his judgments, citing more than 5,000 examples--good, bad, and ugly--from sources such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Newsweek.
Here is a usage guide that, whether you're a language connoisseur or just a dabbler, you can savor in a leisurely way, a few paragraphs at a time. No one can browse through the book without sharing the author's spirited awareness of how words work and his relish for exposing the affectations that bloat our language. Yet if you don't have the time for browsing, but simply want a quick answer to an editorial riddle, this book is your best bet.
DMAU can justifiably lay claim to being the most comprehensive treatment of how American English is used--and abused--as we enter the 21st century.


If they had to state a preference, surely all individuals who ever had occasion to write (be it a memo, love letter, quick e-mail, college essay, or novel) would opt for using appropriate, grammatically correct English. The problem isn't in the intent, it's in the availability and accessibility of clear, understandable answers. Most writers (professional and amateur) get by on what sounds right, their memory of compound predicates and serial commas being a little fuzzy. They might turn to a dictionary or even a thesaurus (or, more likely, depend on the convenience of the computer spell-checker and thesaurus functions), but grammar books are rarely cracked outside of high school English classes.

But what if there were a book that explained the rules of grammar and usage and that was precise yet easy to understand? A book that was useful, and didn't make you feel like a dunce for not knowing where to put the period when you use quotation marks? A Dictionary of Modern American Usage, written by Bryan Garner and published by Oxford University Press, could be the start of a new movement, a brave new world in which people cheerfully polish their prose, where participles rarely dangle and "less" was not substituted incorrectly for "fewer." Garner, a lawyer and lexicographer, has created a scholarly and readable masterpiece. He clarifies the dos and don'ts of commas and quotation marks, explains why it's not so awful to end sentences with prepositions, and tackles common confusions, such as lay and lie, flaunt and flout, and assure, insure, and ensure. Erudite and dryly witty, spectacularly organized and up to date, and attentive to both basic usage and advanced nuances, A Dictionary of Modern American Usage is destined to become the reference of choice for students, scribes, editors, executives, and language devotees. --Stephanie Gold

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