A witty, informative guide to writing from Random House’s longtime copy chief and one of Twitter’s leading language gurus—a twenty-first-century Elements of Style.
We’re all of us writers: We write term papers and office memos, letters to teachers and product reviews, appeals to politicians, journals, and blog entries. Some of us write books. All of us write emails. And we all want to write them better: We want to make our points more clearly, more elegantly; we want our writing to be appreciated, to be more effective; we want—to be quite honest—to make fewer mistakes. Benjamin Dreyer is here to help.
As authoritative as it is amusing, Dreyer’s English distills everything Random House copy chief Benjamin Dreyer has learned from the scores of books he has copyedited into a useful guide not just for writers but for everyone who wants to put their best foot forward in writing prose. Dreyer offers lessons on the ins and outs of punctuation and grammar, including how to navigate the words he calls “the confusables,” such as tricky homophones; the myriad ways to use (and misuse) a comma; and how to recognize—though not necessarily do away with—the passive voice. People are sharing their writing more than ever and this book lays out, clearly and comprehensibly, everything writers can do to keep readers focused on the real reason writers write: to communicate their ideas clearly and effectively. Chockful of advice, insider wisdom, and fun facts on the rules (and nonrules) of the English language, this book will prove invaluable to everyone who wants to shore up their writing skills, mandatory for people who spend their time editing and shaping other people’s prose, and—perhaps best of all—an utter treat for anyone who simply revels in language.