Modern American Usage: A Guide

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9780809069514: Modern American Usage: A Guide

A classic since its first edition in 1966, Modern American Usage has been called a book that “every literate American ought to read.” Now fully revised and brought up-to-date, this one-volume course in good writing brims with helpful answers—large and small—for readers who want to use English clearly, naturally, and correctly.

Alphabetical for easy consulting (and full of cross-references), the book carries the reader to the entry that explains a troublesome word or phrase—and shows how to use or avoid it. Every page offers natural ways to avoid saying or writing the vague, the long-winded, the needlessly technical, and the hopelessly stale. With verve and eloquence, Erik Wensberg spears the empty words that clog clear thought—“impact,” “frustrated,” “basically,” and many more—and offers us good English words that are definite and have more life.

Offering standards by which to judge language now and in the future, Modern American Usage takes account of a generation of changes in American idiom and of attempts to reform the use of pronouns, titles, and phrases to fit shifting ideals of social justice. All this it does with easy learning and with sympathy alike for the experienced writer and for those who come new to American English.

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About the Author:

Erik Wensberg has worked as an editor at Esquire and The New York Times Book Review, and has taught nonfiction writing at Columbia University.

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Follett, Wilson
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Book Description Hill and Wang, 1998. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: When Modern American Usage was first published in 1966, critics hailed it as the "most high-minded book of its kind since Fowler". The American language has changed since then -- but many usage manuals stilt focus on describing these changes rather than prescribing the rules that help us understand them. This revised edition brings back into use the one American manual that unashamedly declares that we should all aspire to the best in our language -- which is often the simplest.The convenient alphabetical format of Modern American Usage -- along with hundreds of cross-references -- allows the reader to zero in on troubling words and phrases without having to know whether the problem is one of grammar, style, or syntax. The careful writer will learn how to sidestep the vague, the wordy, the counterfeit, the technical, and the pedantic. With verve and eloquence, Erik Wensberg fends off such guff as "valid priorities", "hands-on agendas", "closure", and all that is "basically viable". He takesaccount of a generation of changes in American idiom and of attempts to reform the use of pronouns, titles, and phrases to fit shifting ideas of social justice. The result is a book that speaks with easy learning and humor, and will prove valuable for both the experienced writer and the newcomer to our language. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0809069512

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