Is Dreyer's English "utterly correct"? Of course not, as the author would be the first to acknowledge. But it's compulsively readable, thoroughly helpful, and delightfully funny. For anyone who cares about writing well, it's an utterly essential addition to your shelf of most-reached-for reference books.  Continue reading...

Like most well-informed language books, this one is not going to be popular with the English-is-going-to-hell crowd. In this multifaceted yet focused book, Greene makes a powerful argument for the inherent resiliency of language, and his own sharp writing is serious support for language's power.  Continue reading...

Turns out evasion can take the form of a Trojan horsepucky so subtle and tiny most would not recognize it as evasive at all. This expanded edition of The Evasion-English Dictionary shows how small, everyday, nothing-to-see-here words can hide as much hokum as the longest and vaguest jargon.  Continue reading...

These eight essays are a perfect way into learning about how a writer who started at the lowest rung at Time magazine in the 1950s developed to become the author associated with a body of nonfiction that is unparalleled in modern American letters for its breadth and depth.  Continue reading...

Anyone interested in literature or becoming a better writer will find something to like here: Blatt doesn't just shine a light on writing, he lets in a whole new area of the electromagnetic spectrum.  Continue reading...

Lexicography is famously considered an art and science, but Kory Stamper thinks of it as a craft, a term implying "care, repetitive work, apprenticeship, and practice." Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries is a wonderful firsthand account of a lexicographical craftsperson who is master of another craft: writing. Few books about words—or anything else—are this well-written.  Continue reading...

Just as the OED will never be finished documenting the English language, there's always more to tell about the OED itself. So the latest addition to the historical record of our greatest historical dictionary—The Making of the Oxford English Dictionary by lexicographer Peter Gilliver—is most welcome.  Continue reading...

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