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A Dictionary of Modern English Usage by Henry Watson Fowler
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's review
Nov 03, 14

really liked it
bookshelves: books-about-writing
Read in March, 2006

Fowler's "Modern English Usage" is one of those books that really has no business existing: a reference guide that's fun to read. You could spend hours flipping from entry to entry -- especially since many of the entries make reference to others -- discovering all the mistakes you've been making in your writing over the years. Because H.W. Fowler was incredibly opinionated (check out his stance, for example, on the use of "preface" vs. "foreword"), the book's unique abbreviations take some getting used to, and the written language has changed quite a bit since "Modern English Usage" was first published, this book is more of an enjoyable read than a go-to writing guide. Perhaps the modern revisions (which I'm unfamiliar with -- I was lucky enough to find an edition from the '20s) are more functional, but they couldn't possibly be any more fun.
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