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How not to Write by William
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How not to Write

by William

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981205,257 (4)None
How Not to Write is a wickedly witty book about grammar, usage, and style. William Safire, the author of the New York Times Magazine column "On Language," homes in on the "essential misrules of grammar," those mistakes that call attention to the major rules and regulations of writing. He tells you the correct way to write and then tells you when it is all right to break the rules. In this lighthearted guide, he chooses the most common and perplexing concerns of writers new and old. Each mini-chapter starts by stating a misrule like "Don't use Capital letters without good REASON." Safire then follows up with solid and entertaining advice on language, grammar, and life. He covers a vast territory from capitalization, split infinitives (it turns out you can split one if done meaningfully), run-on sentences, and semi-colons to contractions, the double negative, dangling participles, and even onomatopoeia. Originally published under the title Fumblerules.… (more)
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How Not to Write: The Essential Misrules of Grammar by William Safire

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I am on the verge of editing a large book compiled from the writing of other people. I've had no compunction about fumbling through my own knowledge of grammar concerning my work, but feel a greater responsbility when handling the work of others. I turned to the master for guidance, and he did not disappoint. Safire's particular skill is to explain things just enough for the reader to understand, without belaboring any points unless he absolutely needs to. He is clear as well on what is flexible and what is not. No matter how many grammar books I read, however, I'll split infinitives all the live-long day. It just doesn't bother me. ( )
  MartinBodek | Jun 11, 2015 |
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How Not to Write is a wickedly witty book about grammar, usage, and style. William Safire, the author of the New York Times Magazine column "On Language," homes in on the "essential misrules of grammar," those mistakes that call attention to the major rules and regulations of writing. He tells you the correct way to write and then tells you when it is all right to break the rules. In this lighthearted guide, he chooses the most common and perplexing concerns of writers new and old. Each mini-chapter starts by stating a misrule like "Don't use Capital letters without good REASON." Safire then follows up with solid and entertaining advice on language, grammar, and life. He covers a vast territory from capitalization, split infinitives (it turns out you can split one if done meaningfully), run-on sentences, and semi-colons to contractions, the double negative, dangling participles, and even onomatopoeia. Originally published under the title Fumblerules.

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W.W. Norton

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