Bryson's Dictionary for Writers and Editors

( 5 )

Overview

From one of America's most beloved and bestselling authors, a wonderfully useful and readable guide to the problems of the English language most commonly encountered by editors and writers.

What is the difference between “immanent” and “imminent”? What is the singular form of graffiti? What is the difference between “acute” and “chronic”? What is the former name of “Moldova”? What is the difference between a cardinal number and an ordinal number? One of the English language's ...

See more details below
Paperback
$13.46
BN.com price
(Save 20%)$16.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (27) from $3.68   
  • New (14) from $9.34   
  • Used (13) from $3.68   
Bryson's Dictionary for Writers and Editors

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$14.99
BN.com price

Overview

From one of America's most beloved and bestselling authors, a wonderfully useful and readable guide to the problems of the English language most commonly encountered by editors and writers.

What is the difference between “immanent” and “imminent”? What is the singular form of graffiti? What is the difference between “acute” and “chronic”? What is the former name of “Moldova”? What is the difference between a cardinal number and an ordinal number? One of the English language's most skilled writers answers these and many other questions and guides us all toward precise, mistake-free usage. Covering spelling, capitalization, plurals, hyphens, abbreviations, and foreign names and phrases, Bryson's Dictionary for Writers and Editors will be an indispensable companion for all who care enough about our language not to maul, misuse, or contort it.

This dictionary is an essential guide to the wonderfully disordered thing that is the English language. As Bill Bryson notes, it will provide you with “the answers to all those points of written usage that you kind of know or ought to know but can’t quite remember.”

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for Bryson’s Dictionary of Troublesome Words:

“One of the best guides to usage there is. I cannot imagine an English-speaking person [who] would not rejoice in [it].” —Katherine A. Powers, Boston Globe

“A worthwhile addition to any writer’s or editor’s reference library.” —Los Angeles Times

“[Bryson is] a world-class grammar maven.”
—Michael Upchurch, Seattle Times

“A usage book with a nice sense of differentiation.”
—William Safire, New York Times Magazine

“Bryson’s erudition is evident and refreshing…a straightforward, concise, utilitarian guide.”—Publishers Weekly

Library Journal

The publisher information indicates that this dictionary for writers and editors is a companion volume to Bryson's Dictionary of Troublesome Words(Broadway, 2004). In his preface, though, bestselling creative nonfiction author Bryson (A Walk in the Woods) refers to his book as an updated and new edition, implying that he has dropped the "troublesome" and gotten down to business. However you bill it, it features enough new, relevant material and allows for quick checks on a wide variety of matters: dates for political figures' terms in office, when to use lie and lay, how to make first and subsequent references for tricky names and titles, when to capitalize stilton, etc. A concise appendix puts forth lucid punctuation guidelines, and also included are lists of commonly misspelled words, temperatureconversion tables, and units of currency. While some British guidelines and spellings are noted, this is a primarily Americanized guide. BOTTOM LINE Readers can find similar information online, but Bryson's is a complete and idiosyncratic style guide for writers, journalists, and students. What sets it apart from something like an AP handbook is Bryson himself, who can give even a straightforward reference work some personality; this is a style guide with style. It will be a wellthumbed reference on any writer's desk and an indispensable volume on any library shelf. [Ebk. ISBN 9780767929110]
—Audrey Snowden

The Barnes & Noble Review
I can never remember the definition of chimera. No matter how times I've looked it up, I always forget its origin and meaning: "A wild or fanciful creation, taken from Chimera (sometimes Chimaera), a mythological beast with the head of a lion, body of a goat and tail of a serpent." Apparently Bill Bryson, author of A Walk in the Woods and A Short History of Nearly Everything, shares this etymological blind spot, because chimera is among the personal entries in Bryson's Dictionary for Writers and Editors, "a personal collection, built up over thirty years as a writer and editor in two countries" and "intended as a quick, concise guide to the problems of English spelling and usage." First published in England by Penguin in the 1980s, Bryson's 398-page compilation has been updated and re-released, and includes definitions, guides to punctuation and grammar, and helpful conversion tables (Celsius to Fahrenheit; kilometers to miles). In short, it's equal parts The Elements of Style, Associated Press Stylebook, Webster's New World Dictionary, and general desktop encyclopedia. "[I]nevitably -- inescapably -- it reflects my own interests, experiences and blind spots," he says in the preface. Knowing that, you might be tempted to ask, "Then who needs this dictionary besides Bryson?" If you're satisfied with your collection of reference books, perhaps this addition is unnecessary. The book, after all, doesn't claim to be a definitive reference book. Then again, does such a thing exist? And what would you call such a wild, fanciful creation? --Cameron Martin
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780767922708
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/12/2009
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 289,225
  • Product dimensions: 5.14 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Meet the Author

Bill Bryson
BILL BRYSON's bestselling books include A Walk in the Woods, I'm a Stranger Here Myself, In a Sunburned Country, Bryson's Dictionary of Troublesome Words, A Short History of Nearly Everything (which earned him the 2004 Aventis Prize), and The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid. Bryson lives in England with his wife and children.

Biography

A backpacking expedition in 1973 brought Des Moines native Bill Bryson to England, where he met his wife and decided to settle. He wrote travel articles for the English newspapers The Times and The Independent for many years before stumbling into bestsellerdom with 1989's The Lost Continent, a sidesplitting account of his rollicking road trip across small-town America. In 1995, he moved his family back to the States so his children could experience "being American." However, his deep-rooted Anglophilia won out and, in 2003, the Brysons returned to England.

One of those people who finds nearly everything interesting, Bryson has managed to turn his twin loves -- travel and language -- into a successful literary career. In a string of hilarious bestsellers, he has chronicled his misadventures across England, Europe, Australia, and the U.S., delighting readers with his wry observations and descriptions. Similarly, his books on the history of the English language, infused with the perfect combination of wit and erudition, have sold well. He has received several accolades and honors, including the coveted Aventis Prize for best general science book awarded for his blockbuster A Short History of Nearly Everything.

Beloved on both sides of the pond, Bryson makes few claims to write great literature. But he is a writer it is nearly impossible to dislike. We defy anyone to not smile at pithy, epigrammatic opening lines like these: "I come from Des Moines. Someone had to."

Read More Show Less
    1. Hometown:
      Hanover, New Hampshire
    1. Date of Birth:
      1951
    2. Place of Birth:
      Des Moines, Iowa
    1. Education:
      B.A., Drake University, 1977

Read an Excerpt

Aa

Aachen.  City in Germany; in French, Aix-la-Chapelle.

a/an.  Errors involving the indefinite articles a and an are almost certainly more often a consequence of haste and carelessness than of ignorance. They are especially common when numbers are involved, as here: "Cox will contribute 10 percent of the equity needed to build a $80 million cable system" or "He was assisted initially by two officers from the sheriff's department and a FBI agent." When the first letter of an abbreviation is pronounced as a vowel, as in "FBI," the preceding article should be an, not a.

Aarhus.  City in Denmark; in Danish, erhus.

abacus, pl. abacuses.

abaft.  Toward the stern, or rear, of a ship.

abattoir.

Abbas, Mahmoud.  (1935-) President of Palestinian National Authority (2005-).

ABC.  American Broadcasting Companies (note plural), though the full title is no longer spelled out. It is now part of the Walt Disney Company. The television network is ABC-TV.

abdomen, but abdominal.

Abdulaziz International Airport, King,  Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Abdul-Jabbar, Kareem.  (1947-) American basketball player; born Lew Alcindor.

aberrant, aberration.

abhorrent.

Abidjan.  Capital of Ivory Coast.

ab incunabulis.  (Lat.) "From the cradle."

abiogenesis.  The concept that living matter can arise from nonliving matter; spontaneous generation.

-able.  In adding this suffix to a verb, the general rule is to drop a silent e (livable, lovable) except after a soft g (manageable) or sibilant c (peaceable). When a verb ends with a consonant and a y (justify, indemnify) change the y to i before adding -able (justifiable, indemnifiable). Verbs ending in
-ate drop that syllable before adding -able (appreciable, demonstrable).

-able, -ible.  There are no reliable rules for knowing when a word ends in -able and when in -ible; see Appendix for a list of some of the more frequently confused spellings.

ab origine.  (Lat.) "From the beginning."

abracadabra.

abridgment.

abrogate.  To abolish.

Absalom.  In the Old Testament, third son of David.

Absalom, Absalom!.  Novel by William Faulkner (1936).

Absaroka Range,  Rocky Mountains.

abscess.

absinth.

abstemious.

Abu Dhabi.  Capital city of and state in the United Arab Emirates.

Abuja.  Capital of Nigeria.

Abu Simbel,  Egypt; site of temples built by Ramses II.

abyss, abyssal, but abysmal.

Abyssinia. Former name of Ethiopia.

acacia.

Académie française.  French literary society of forty members who act as guardians of the French language; in English contexts, Franeaise is usually capitalized.

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.  Institution responsible for the Oscars.

a capella.  Singing without musical accompaniment.

Acapulco, Mexico.  Officially, Acapulco de Juarez.

Accademia della Crusca.  Italian literary academy.

accelerator.

accessible.

accessory.

acciaccatura.  Grace note in music.

accidentally.  Not -tly.

accolade.

accommodate.  Very often misspelled: note -cc-, -mm-.

accompanist.  Not -iest.

accouterment.

Accra.  Capital of Ghana.

Acheson, Dean.  (1893-1971) American diplomat and politician; secretary of state, 1949-53.

Achilles.  King of the Myrmidons, most famous of the Greek heroes of the Trojan War.

Achilles’ heel. (Apos.)

From the Hardcover edition.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
( 5 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    with respect ...

    Not for everybody, but Bryson can make even this subject interesting. With respect to the previous review: Read a few pages before you buy a book. It'll save you anguish and money.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 9, 2009

    Bryson's Dictionary is NOT for Everyone...

    I was under the impression that this dictionary included words that are obsolete that are normally used in historical romances. I was sorely disappointed because there are select words included in this dictionary which made this a waste of my money. I suggest that anyone purchasing this dictionary should be mindful of the type of words they wish to define.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)