A Dictionary of Modern English Usage: The Classic First Edition

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No book had more influence on twentieth-century writers of English 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 humor, Fowler has stood the test of time and is still considered by many to be the best arbiter of good practice. Now Oxford is bringing back the original long-out-of-print first edition of this beloved work, ...

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A Dictionary of Modern English Usage: The Classic First Edition

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Overview

No book had more influence on twentieth-century writers of English 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 humor, Fowler has stood the test of time and is still considered by many to be the best arbiter of good practice. Now Oxford is bringing back the original long-out-of-print first edition of this beloved work, enhanced with a new introduction by one of today's leading experts on the language, David Crystal. Drawing on a wealth of entertaining examples, Crystal offers an insightful reassessment Fowler's reputation and his place in the history of linguistic thought. Most important, Crystal examines nearly 300 of Fowler's entries in detail, offering a modern perspective on them, and showing how English has changed since the 1920s. This exciting paperback edition of one of the classic works of English reference will delight everyone interested in language.

About the Series: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the broadest spectrum 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, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199535347
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 11/23/2009
  • Pages: 832
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 2.00 (d)

Meet the Author

David Crystal is honorary professor of linguistics at the University of Bangor, and 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).

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 10, 2010

    Nothing MODERN (or useful) about it today!

    H.W. Fowler's, A Dictionary of Modern English Usage, "Edited" by David Crystal. What a disappointment!

    Exactly what did David Crystal "edit"? I note with great interest that the spine of the dust jacket says "Edited" while the cover observes with greater veracity that only a new introduction and "notes" were contributed. I scanned the book for quite a few minutes before relegating it to my useless pile, finally realizing that the only "notes" are those in the back, which, apparently, if you read the publisher's sales puffery, double as the "concluding section" of the book in which Prof. Crystal "examines" over 300 entries.

    More importantly, the title of the original Fowler work, by definition, grows more misleading with each passing year. Fowler's writing is so dated it is difficult for a "modern" English speaker or writer to glean useful usage information from it. His examples seem to be so frequently in the negative that it can be extremely difficult to distinguish proper usage from im-.

    As a piece of history, you may want this book on your shelf. As a primary source of proper usage information, don't waste your money or your time.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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