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A Dictionary of Modern English Usage

Overview


Over 75 years old, this classic text has become the standard work on the correct but natural use of English and has ensured that Fowler is a household name. Written in Fowler's inimitable style, it gives clear guidance on usage, word formation, inflexion, spelling, pronunciation, punctuation, and typography. Rewritten, updated, and expanded to take into account the vast linguistic changes of the past three-quarters of a century, here are thousands of alphabetically-arranged entries, offering advice and ...
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Overview


Over 75 years old, this classic text has become the standard work on the correct but natural use of English and has ensured that Fowler is a household name. Written in Fowler's inimitable style, it gives clear guidance on usage, word formation, inflexion, spelling, pronunciation, punctuation, and typography. Rewritten, updated, and expanded to take into account the vast linguistic changes of the past three-quarters of a century, here are thousands of alphabetically-arranged entries, offering advice and background information on all aspects of the English language, from grammar to spelling to literary style.
Witty and practical, and renowned for its authority, Fowler's Modern English Usage remains an invaluable guide to the English language. The first place to turn for sensible advice on the thorny issues of grammar, meaning, and pronunciation, "Fowler" is one of those rare reference books that can also be read simply for pleasure.
This new edition includes an introduction by Simon Winchester, which gives the book a modern perspective and confirms its importance in literature.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198605065
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 3/6/2003
  • Series: Oxford Language Classics Series
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 768
  • Product dimensions: 7.70 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Simon Winchester

Henry Watson Fowler (1858-1933) was a translator, lexicographer, and grammarian. With his brother Frank (1870-1918) he compiled the first edition of the Concise Oxford Dictionary (published 1911) and the Pocket Oxford Dictionary (published in 1924, after Franks' death). Frank helped to plan Modern English Usage with his brother but he died before it was published and it was executed by Henry alone. The name Fowler has become synonymous with reliable and accurate reference on all aspects of written English.

Biography

One of the leading practitioners of the offbeat, narrative nonfiction genre The New York Times affectionately calls "cocktail-party science," Simon Winchester studied geology at Oxford, worked on offshore oil rigs, and traveled extensively before settling into a writing career. For twenty years, he worked as a foreign correspondent for the Guardian, augmenting his income by writing articles and well-written but little-read travel books. Then, an obscure footnote in a book he was reading for sheer recreation sparked the idea of a lifetime.

The book in question was Jonathon Green's Chasing the Sun: Dictionary Makers and the Dictionaries They Made, and the footnote read, "Readers will of course be familiar with the story of W.C. Minor, the convicted, deranged, American lunatic murderer, contributor to the OED." Immediately, Winchester knew he had stumbled on a real story, one filled with drama, intrigue, and human interest. Published in 1998, The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity and the Oxford English Dictionary was an overnight success, garnering rave reviews on both sides of the pond, and remained on The New York Times hardcover bestseller list for more than a year.

Fueled by curiosity, passion, and a journalist's instinct for what makes "good copy," Winchester has gone on to explore the obscure, arcane, and idiosyncratic in blockbusters like The Map that Changed the World, Krakatoa, and The Man Who Loved China. Coincidentally, his subjects have placed him squarely in the forefront of the new wave of nonfiction so popular at the start of the 21st century. In an interview with Atlantic Monthly, Winchester explained the phenomenon thusly: ""It shows, I think, that there is deep, deep down -- but underserved for a long time -- an eagerness for real stories, real narratives, about rich and interesting things. We -- writers, editors -- just ignored this, by passed this. Now we are tapping into it again."

Good To Know

Winchester once spent three months looking at whirlpools on assignment for Smithsonian magazine.

He once wrote a letter to the editor of The New York Times to correct a factual error in an article about where the millennium would first hit land on the morning of Jan. 1, 2000. (It was the island of Tafahi, not the coral atoll Kirabati.)

He reportedly loves the words "butterfly" and "dawn."

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    1. Hometown:
      New York; Massachusetts; Scotland
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 28, 1944
    2. Place of Birth:
      London, England
    1. Education:
      M.A., St. Catherine’s College, Oxford, 1966
    2. Website:

Table of Contents

List of General Articles

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