Garner's Modern English Usage
With more than a thousand new entries and more than 2,300 word-frequency ratios, the magisterial fourth edition of this book-now renamed Garner's Modern English Usage (GMEU)-reflects usage lexicography at its finest. Garner explains the nuances of grammar and vocabulary with thoroughness, finesse, and wit. He discourages whatever is slovenly, pretentious, or pedantic.
GMEU is the liveliest and most compulsively readable reference work for writers of our time. It delights while providing instruction on skillful, persuasive, and vivid writing. Garner liberates English from two extremes: both from the hidebound "purists" who mistakenly believe that split infinitives and sentence-ending prepositions are malfeasances and from the linguistic relativists who believe that whatever people say or write must necessarily be accepted.
The judgments here are backed up not just by a lifetime of study but also by an empirical grounding in the largest linguistic corpus ever available. In this fourth edition, Garner has made extensive use of corpus linguistics to include ratios of standard terms as compared against variants in modern print sources. No other resource provides as comprehensive, reliable, and empirical a guide to current English usage.
For all concerned with writing and editing, GMEU will prove invaluable as a desk reference. Garner illustrates with actual examples, cited with chapter and verse, all the linguistic blunders that modern writers and speakers are prone to, whether in word choice, syntax, phrasing, punctuation, or pronunciation. No matter how knowledgeable you may already be, you're sure to learn from every single page of this book.
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HATERS GONNA HATE!
This book deserves ten stars. It is brilliant. Garner has created a data-driven usage guide using Google Ngrams. I appreciate and admire his thoughtfulness and attention to nuance. Every entry is illustrated with one or several examples from published works. This work is invaluable.
I wouldn't put too much stock in the negative reviewer's opinion here. Most usage readers will probably find Garner engaging, scholarly, and worth looking into.
Preface to the Fourth Edition
Preface to the First Edition
List of Essay Entries
List of Abbreviations
Key to the LanguageChange Index
Making Peace in the Language Wars
The Ongoing Tumult in English Usage