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9780006387466

The King's English: A Guide to Modern Usage

Amis, Kingsley Author

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9780006387466: The King's English: A Guide to Modern Usage

Posthumously published, the great man's trenchant, provocative and authoritative guide to the use and abuse of the English language. Sir Kingsley Amis, who died in 1995, occupied a unique position in the world of English letters: elder statesman, former angry young man, latter-day curmudgeon and, above all, comic novelist of genius. In all his work, and throughout his life, the use and abuse of the English language was one of his principal concerns. The King's English pungently, entertainingly and concisely conveys his love and knowledge of the subject to new generations of readers and writers. Here can be found all those linguistic pitfalls ('crescendo', 'disinterested', 'enormity') which lie in wait for the ignorant or the careless. And if you've ever wondered whether it's acceptable to start a sentence with 'and', or what you risk revealing about yourself by your pronunciation of 'liqueur', or whether or not to cross your 7s in the French style, Amis has the answer. By turns reflective, acerbic, combative and controversial, The King's English will find a place on the shelves of anyone who values the English language and cares about the way in which it is used.

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Sir Kingsley Amis, who died in October 1995, was born in London in 1922. In 1954 his first novel, Lucky Jim, burst onto the literary scene with extraordinary force, gaining him instant fame and notoriety as one of the most prominent of the so-called 'angry young men'. He went on to write over twenty novels (winning the Booker Prize in 1986 for The Old Devils), and many volumes of poetry and non-fiction. He was knighted in 1991. His last novel, The Biographer's Moustache, was published in September 1995.

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