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Friday, December 26, 2008

LibraryThing Early Review

Garner on Writing and Language
by Bryan A Garner

What a fabulous book!

I love and collect books about English usage and history, but this one is unique. I was surprised to receive the envelope from the American Bar Association, as I had not picked it up as being targeted at legal writing. However as Bryan Garner says somewhere, law is traditionally considered an educated profession, and thus I conclude that the book is suitable for any person wishing to write in an educated manner. And yet, having challenged my expectations for a book on language by being about legal writing, it then challenged my expectations for a book on legal writing by being fun and funny. Just check out "octopus, octopi, octopodes" in the index, to see what I mean. There are extensive and useful lists of references and suggestions, and it is fun to think that I might have to write Mr Garner a note suggesting a couple of books he should look at, if not include in future editions.

It is also worth saying that I was strongly and delightfully reminded of the tone of Strunk and White in "The Elements of Style": both practical and American in character.

This book will be a pleasure to keep by the desk as a reference, and to rummage around in during a spare moment, for fun. And I will be suggesting it to the school library where I volunteer as a reference work to acquire.

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