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How to Speak and Write Correctly (c. 1900)
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How to Speak and Write Correctly (c. 1900)

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  1,514 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
The examples of these men are incentives to action. Poverty thrust them forward instead of keeping them back. Therefore, if you are poor make your circumstances a means to an end. Have ambition, keep a goal in sight and bend every energy to reach that goal. A story is told of Thomas Carlyle the day he attained the highest honor the literary world could confer upon him when ...more
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Published February 1st 2009 by B&R Samizdat Express (first published June 1st 2004)
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Skyler Myers
Apr 01, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who want to brush up on grammar without spending money
"Every person of intelligence should be able to use his mother tongue correctly. It only requires a little pains, a little care, a little study to enable one to do so, and the recompense is great."


* Lots of good information without wasted words

* Contains more than just grammar, such as the history of the English language

* Huge list of the best authors, poets, and books


* Some outdated usage of words, such as "thou" and "thee" (was written in 1917)

* Entire sections are now almost irrelev
Aug 01, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: penpals
If you merely read chapter 10 of this book, that alone will give reason for why i gave it 5 stars. The first three or four chapters are forgetable and can be skipped. It only tells of the grammar lessons everyone learned in elementary school.

Letter writing was so much more dignified back when Devlin wrote this book. He gives great example sentences and lots of tips that I find useful today. A lot of the suggestions are outdated, but instead of being useless they just show how far the craft has
Oct 18, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, z2010, kindle
Definitely got me thinking more about how I use language, although I was proud to recognise a lot of the errors mentioned. It was dated in some parts, and seemed to repeatedly talk about speaking and writing simply, with an excess of long words.

Some of my favourite quotes:

'You can be joyful, playful, jocose, give vent to your feelings, but never stoop to low language and, above all, to language savouring in the slightest degree of moral impropriety.'

'Describe what you saw yesterday-a fire, a ru
Dec 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having ordery and structured sentences are indicative of an orderly and structured mind. I don't know about you, but I have a hard time remembering all the rules of written and spoken English taught in high school. This little book is a great tool to keep many of those rules at the forefront.
Yes, some of the rules seem rather dated, the use of which would make you sound more like a Victorian-era English teacher thn an educated middle American. None the less, the theories and principles found in
May 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Must read for any who loves English language
Asha Seth
Apr 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All
I hope to now speak and write correctly by eliminating errors I have been making!:)

Review to follow.
Jan 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who would like to improve their English.
A fantastic book that will help anybody who wants to improve their English and it's usage.
marc ivan manalac
Nov 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this on kindle's public domain books and really enjoyed it besides the fact that paragraphs would sometimes repeat when I went to the next page. I recommend this book to those interested in bettering your understanding of speech!
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting when compared with other books
Aaron Ash
Feb 22, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
This primer has held up fairly well over time. The things it stresses the most, writing simply and briefly, are as important today as ever. Also, I needed the reminder to stay away from phrases such as, in my opinion, and the like which are overused today like never before.
After reading this I do feel like I need a grammar workbook as I don't remember the rules as well as I thought I did. While, the book gives excellent speaking and writing advice, the grammar review is harder to follow.
It also
Armani Hill
Dec 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think with this book you can learn how to communicate in a positive, prosperous and powerful purpose, as its title indicates. With this I learned all necessary skills to communicate in a second language. I also learned how to use them to be successful in my business and in my personal life. Definitely, I think if you read this book you will learn how to communicate effectively to get your goals and break the wall between cultures around the world. For sure, you will be better. Do not miss this ...more
Judine Brey
While I appreciated a lot of the "old-time" grammar portions of this text, it felt a bit high-handed, especially at the end, when the author listed a serious of "must-read" books. While many of them are classics, it still felt as if the author knew more about what was good than we did. I'm sure at least part of this is because the text was written toward the beginning of the 20th century, but it came across badly. Also, because I was reading the kindle version of the text, some of the charts and ...more
Feb 03, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The content and examples are too old. But as a free book from Amazon, it worth have a read.
Aileen Bernadette Urquhart
I enjoyed this book for some perverse reason. It's a book of two halves. The first half is taken up with rules of grammar, and the second half is more general, with exhortations to try, try, and in the end you will succeed. Lots of quotes from classic authors, and this brightened up the book. Written about 1910? so inevitably out of date in some aspects.
Dec 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is an amazing resource to helps us how to improve our speaking and writing skill. It has lot information and it is easy to read. If you purchase this book you will improve your communication even in other languages, establishing mutual respect and understanding. Also, you will learn how to sell your ideas. You won t regret to buy it. ...more
Aug 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
O! what a lesson in humility. How ever did I achieve an A* at GCSE English Language? Surely, the marker must have been poorly skilled. Yet I should think that were I to greatly refine my grammar in this way, I would appear pompously pedantic. Might I add that I lack the confidence that anything I have just written is grammatically correct? Alas! not even now!
Sep 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general
good first i thought this is book about grammar.and i read it since i want to improve mt english,especially grammatically,it helps.and i love chapter 10,11 and 12.some good advice from author,use simple english,no slang and bombastic words.i'm shocked to find boycott came from a person name and a slang.good it
Nicholas Maulucci
not a current book. written in early to mid 20th century. thoroughly enjoyed reading the grammar rules. had not only technical help and rules but some philosophy too. this book is not for everybody. I would recommend it to my brother Jeremy or English teachers or linguists. also really enjoyed a short etymology section. happy with the read.
Dec 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english
A good grammar review book. Actually it is a bit boring in the grammar part.
Later, the author talks about culture and language. In these parts, he suddenly becomes very passionate. I was quite surprised by his great enthusiasm of encouraging people from poor families.
Got some recommendations at the end for further reading.
Jun 12, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lovely experience while reading this book

Correcting the mistakes while reading this book.
I like this book.
I choose this book for rating because language was my main problem & which is sorted out by this book.
I would definitely recommend this book to my grandma
Aug 03, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to the LibriVox recording of this early 20th century classic and enjoyed it. Devlin covers the basics of English grammar, style, common errors, and recommended reading. It's not at all dry or pretentious. It's actually fun to read.
Sarah Spelbring
The later chapters were much better than the beginning chapters. The beginning 5-6 chapters dealt with grammar and spelling, the last few he went into what to write, how to get started, and listed some influences.

Granted this book is a bit dated but it still carries some sound advice.
May 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Many highlights

There were many passages that I highlighted and some that I copied out to print up and post next to my writing desk. Well worth the time in spite of the dated attitude.
Marts  (Thinker)
Dec 29, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy, writing
This title highlights, well exactly what it says, speaking and writing correctly. It begins with basic english grammer and then graduates to proper usage for varying situations, eg. use of slang, vernacular writing, newspaper writing, etc.
Dennis Podryadchikov
Interestingly enough, an easy to read guide on speaking and writing. Providing a more traditional outlook, the book reads like a novel, which speaks about author's style. High school and undergraduate students alike will find this book helpful in understanding English language.
carlitha williams
Sep 16, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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May 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable read. It has a nice balance of good advice and amusing anachronisms.
Sep 19, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

good morning my beautiful author !! awesome cool with it but it's still available for the first time...good job !!
May 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written. Understandable and easy to read. I found the tips quite helpful and since coming upon reading it, my grammar has altered remarkably
Andrea Jackson
Not really easy for the non-scholar
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“In the works of Shakespeare, the most wonderful genius the world has ever known, there is the enormous number of 15,000 different words, but almost 10,000 of them are obsolete or meaningless today.” 3 likes
“To use a big word or a foreign word when a small one and a familiar one will answer the same purpose, is a sign of ignorance. Great scholars and writers and polite speakers use simple words.” 3 likes
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