A Dictionary of Modern English Usage
guide to precise phrases, grammar, and pronunciation can be key; it can even be admired. But beloved? Yet from its first appearance in 1926, Fowler's was just that. Henry Watson Fowler initially aimed his Dictionary of Modern English Usage, as he wrote to his publishers in 1911, at "the half-educated Englishman of literary proclivities who wants to know Can I say so-&-so?" He was of course obsessed with, in Swift's phrase, "proper words in their proper places." But having been a schoolmaster, Fowler knew that liberal doses of style, wit, and caprice would keep his manual off the shelf and in writers' hands. He also felt that description must accompany prescription, and that advocating pedantic "superstitions" and "fetishes" would be to no one's advantage. Adepts will have their favorite inconsequential entries--from burgle to brood, truffle to turgid. Would that we could quote them all, but we can't resist a couple.
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ey ie y in diminu
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able adjective adverb archaic archaism better called chiefly clause comma common compound confusion contexts correct differentiation distinction doubt edly Elegant variation ellipsis English examples expression fact false FALSE ETYMOLOGY Feminine French French words gerund given gives Gram grammar Greek hyphen idiom idiomatic inflexions see Verbs inversion kind Latin plurals less literary matter meaning ment metaphor mistake modern Mute Mute e natural no-one normal noun nounced nunciation object omitted ordinary original participle perhaps periphrasis person phrase Pleonasm possible preferred preposition pron Pronounce pronunciation question quotations rare reader relative clause sense sentence singular Sobriquets sometimes sound spelling spelt split infinitive subjunctive substitute syllables synonyms Technical terms thing tion tive true usage usually variant verb accent Verbs in ie vowel writer wrong ее