BUGS in Writing: A Guide to Debugging Your Prose

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Addison-Wesley, 1998 - Computers - 668 pages

"How often does a book come along that has you laughing out loud as it improves your writing, especially of technical and scientific material? How often does a book on writing come out aimed at scientists, mathematicians, and computer specialists in the first place? How often does a book on grammar keep you turning the pages from pleasure? Never, you say? Then get this one."

Jef Raskin
professional writer and creator of the Apple Macintosh project

"As someone responsible for the creation of numerous bugs, literary and otherwise, I heartily recommend Lyn Dupre's exquisite book: a lucid guide to squishing bugs or, even better, exterminating them before they hatch."

David C. Nagel
President, AT&T Labs

"You can borrow my dictionary or steal my thesaurus. Just stay away from my copy of BUGS."

Patrick Henry Winston
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

"The quality of scientific and technical writing would increase considerably if this book were required reading for all authors."

The Mathematica Journal

"Lyn's style is wonderful: humorous, enjoyable, and incisive. I even liked the plot."

Peter G. Neumann
author of the Dupreved Computer-Related Risks

"Those of us who have worked with Lyn Dupre treasure her keen wit, and, above all, her absolute mastery of writing."

Carver Mead
California Institute of Technology

"BUGS in Writing deserves to become a standard. If technical writing isn't your principal activity, but you find yourself doing a lot of it, you should read this book."

IEEE Micro

"This book will help me/you/we a lot/immensely."

Martin Griss
Laboratory Scientist and Reuse Rabbi, Hewlett-Packard Laboratories

"Lyn combines an intellectual command of her subject with a madcap imagination to take you on a joyous romp through the English language."

Abraham Silberschatz
Lucent Technologies

"I just received a copy of BUGS in Writing, which I think is wonderful. (Reading this sentence again, I realize it is ambiguous; but both its interpretations are true. It is also passive, but since the package was waiting for me when I returned from a trip, it is hard to know just who brought it.)...BUGS will certainly be at my fingertips during the final rewrites.

Andrew Koenig
author of C Traps and Pitfalls and coauthor of Ruminations on C++

"I highly recommend BUGS in Writing, by Dupre. It makes an excellent companion to Strunk & White and the Harbrace College Handbook."

Martin D. Carroll
coauthor of Designing and Coding Reusable C++

A "superior" alternative to Strunk and White.

Computing Reviews

"This book simply sneaks up like a cat and charms you."

Kitta Reeds
SRI International

"Having the examples weave their own story is an outstanding device. Our brains must be wired for learning from stories."

Bruce R. Montague
University of California, Santa Cruz

"Ultimately, it is the playfulness and humor of the author that encourages me to keep this book on my working shelf. I wish I'd had Lyn Dupre as my fifth-grade English teacher."

ANPA West Journal

"An earful of bugs that will learn you right from wrong."

Dick Lyon
hearing researcher, Caltech, and Senior Scientist, Foveonics, Inc.

"It's hard to describe how easy it is to read this book, except to say that it's the first style book that I have ever read entirely, and for pleasure."

Ellen Levy Finch
Expert Support, Inc.

"An indispensible 'bible' for those who believe that clarity and good writing are the key to conveying any message effectively."

Edward H. Shortliffe, MD, PhD
Professor and Associate Dean, Stanford University

"Even my cats seemed to like the book."

Denbigh Starkey
Montana State University Like a deft and brilliant surgeon Lyn takes your mangled manuscript And dexterously cuts away Those dangling participles Those split infinitives Those fatty adjectives And returns to you An (almost) perfect body Of your work (Marred by only a few Feline paw prints). Lightning quick of mind Motion sure and filled with grace Weapon poised With sharp and blackened point She pounces! Leaps upon her prey! Death to the fractured words The split infinitive The dangling participle! The body stirs at last Returns to life Strengthened, renewed, And ready for The publisher. oTrish Hooper

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What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - zzamboni - LibraryThing

This book was very useful to me, as a non-native English speaker, when I started writing technical texts in graduate school. It contains many short recipe-like chapters, each one about a particular topic. The typesetting is unusual, and some find it distracting, although I think it's cute. Read full review

BUGS in writing: a guide to debugging your prose

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Dupre's clear advice, presented with a sense of fun, may benefit anyone who writes. However, it is geared to technical and academic writers who usually understand their material but are not so skilled ... Read full review


Passive or Missing Agents H i
You and Your Reader
So So That Such That

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About the author (1998)

Lyn Dupré was born in Manhattan, where her father was an editor for the Wall Street Journal, the Herald Tribune, and the New York Times, and her mother was the buyer for the Teacher's College Bookstore. She studied philosophy and law at Barnard College and at Cambridge University. She has had over 15 years of experience as a freelance copy editor and developmental editor, specializing in computer-science, science, and medical textbooks. She has edited over 400 books for various major publishers, and has worked for numerous academic institutions. She also works directly with graduate students and other authors to help them improve their writing. Lyn edits and writes during breaks from her serious work as a wood carver and photographer. She wrote BUGS in Writing under the close supervision of her cats, BB and Red. Her fondest hope is that the availability of this book will eliminate any future need for her work as a copy editor.


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