A Dictionary of Modern English Usage: The Classic First Edition

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Oxford University Press, Oct 14, 2010 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 784 pages
6 Reviews
'What grammarians say should be has perhaps less influence on what shall be than even the more modest of them realize ...' No book had more influence on twentieth-century attitudes to the English language in Britain than Henry Fowler's Dictionary of Modern English Usage. It rapidly became the standard work of reference for the correct use of English in terms of choice of words, grammar, and style. Much loved for his firm opinions, passion, and dry humour, Fowler has stood the test of time and is still considered the best arbiter of good practice. In this new edition of the original Dictionary, David Crystal goes beyond the popular mythology surrounding Fowler's reputation to retrace his method and arrive at a fresh evaluation of his place in the history of linguistic thought. With a wealth of entertaining examples he looks at Fowler's stated principles and the tensions between his prescriptive and descriptive temperaments. He shows that the Dictionary does a great more than make normative recommendations and express private opinion. In addition he offers a modern perspective on some 300 entries, in which he shows how English has changed since the 1920s. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
 

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User Review  - john.cooper - LibraryThing

Back in the early 2000s, the software company I worked at had some unused books left over from a project, including a late printing of the first edition of H. W. Fowler’s *A Dictionary of Modern ... Read full review

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User Review  - AlexBrightsmith - LibraryThing

I love this book whole-heartedly. I won't pretend that with this one work you can leap from ignorance to expert knowledge, but if you already have a fair grasp of good usage, and are willing to have ... Read full review

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About the author (2010)

David Crystal is the author of many books on language in general and the English language in particular, such as The Stories of English (2004), The Fight for English (2006), and Think on My Words: Exploring Shakespeare's Language (2008). His previous lexicographical work includes A Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics (6th edn., 2008), and Johnson's Dictionary: an Anthology (2005). His autobiography, Just a PhraseI'm Going Through: My Life in Language was published in 2009 (Routledge).

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