Fowler's Modern English Usage

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9780198610212: Fowler's Modern English Usage

Fowler's Modern English Usage is the world-famous guide to English usage, loved and used by writers of all kinds. In keeping with its long tradition, Fowler's gives comprehensive and practical advice on grammar, syntax, style, and choice of words. It gives a clear and authoritative picture of the English we use, and elucidates many scores of usage questions such as the split infinitive and the intricacies of political correctness. It gives in-depth coverage of both British and American English with reference to the English of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and South Africa. The volume includes wide-ranging examples of usage from a broad selection of newspapers, journals, and books from across the globe, and features illustrative quotations from authors such as Agatha Christie, Chinua Achebe, Iris Murdoch, Harold Pinter, and Noel Coward.

Based on the evidence and research of the Oxford Dictionaries Program, this is the most comprehensive and authoritative guide to usage available. The third edition of 1996 provided a complete revision and an expansion of the original text, bringing the book fully up to date on all matters of grammar, usage, syntax, and style. This is a reissue of the revised third edition of 1998, which includes a new Supplement and revised entries. Replaces isbn 0198602634.

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Review:

For generations, lovers of the English language have turned to trusty copies of Fowler's to settle nagging grammatical questions, or, for true hard-core language junkies, for the sheer fun of reading H. W. Fowler's classic outrage contained in entries on "Hackneyed Phrases" or "Pedantic-Humour Words."

The New Fowler's Modern English Usage, the first revision in more than 30 years, has not arrived without controversy. Some language (and Fowler) purists complain that the book is too liberal at times, noting that usage is common as opposed to correct. Those points are debatable, and, indeed, they're what makes the book's nearly 900 pages so interesting to peruse. The currency of the new Fowler's extends to, in the entry on "Vogue Words," such novelties as "couch potato," "flavour of the month," "on a roll," and the notorious "parameter."

About the Author:


The original 'Fowler' was Henry Watson Fowler (1858-1933), a teacher and writer. He was also the author, with his brother Francis, of The King's English (1906) and the first edition of the Concise Oxford Dictionary (1911).

Robert Burchfield (1923-2004), a New Zealander by birth, held the post of Chief Editor of Oxford English Dictionaries between 1971 and 1984 and was the Editor of the final volumes of the Oxford English Dictionary Supplements. He was also the editor of The New Zealand Pocket Oxford Dictionary (1986) and, with C. T. Onions and G. W. S. Friedrichsen, of The Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology (1966).

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