Bryson's Dictionary of Troublesome Words: A Writer's Guide to Getting It Right

By Bill Bryson

One of many English language’s so much expert and liked writers courses us all towards unique, mistake-free usage.

As traditional invoice Bryson says it top: “English is a dazzlingly idiosyncratic tongue, packed with quirks and irregularities that regularly appear willfully at odds with common sense and customary experience. this can be a language the place ‘cleave’ can suggest to chop in part or to carry halves jointly; the place the straightforward be aware ‘set’ has 126 diverse meanings as a verb, fifty eight as a noun, and 10 as a participial adjective; the place for those who can run quickly you're relocating speedily, but when you're caught quickly you're not relocating in any respect; [and] the place ‘colonel,’ ‘freight,’ ‘once,’ and ‘ache’ are strikingly at odds with their spellings.” As a duplicate editor for the London Times within the early Eighties, invoice Bryson felt keenly the shortcoming of an easy-to-consult, authoritative consultant to averting the traps and snares in English, and so he brashly recommended to a writer that he should still write one. strangely, the proposition used to be authorised, and for “a amount of cash rigorously gauged to not reason embarrassment or emotions of overworth,” he proceeded to write down that book–his first, inaugurating his stellar career.

Now, a decade and a part later, revised, up-to-date, and carefully (but no longer overly) Americanized, it has develop into Bryson’s Dictionary of frustrating Words, greater than ever a necessary consultant to the splendidly disordered factor that's the English language. With a few 1000 entries, from “a, an” to “zoom,” that function real-world examples of questionable utilization from a world array of courses, and with a worthwhile word list and advisor to pronunciation, this exact, prescriptive, and–because it's written by way of invoice Bryson–often witty booklet belongs at the table of each one who cares sufficient concerning the language to not maul or misuse or distort it.

From the Hardcover edition.

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