Why literally shouldn't be taken literally. Why Americans think home in on something is a mistake and Brits think hone in is. Is it OK to spell OK okay? What's wrong with hence why? Was Alanis Morrisette ever ironic? Fowler's Dictionary of Modern English Usage is the world-famous guide to English usage, loved and used by writers, editors, and anyone who values correct English since it first appeared in 1926. Fowler's gives comprehensive and practical advice on complex points of grammar, syntax, punctuation, style, and word choice.
Now enlarged and completely revised to reflect English usage in the 21st century, it provides a crystal-clear, authoritative picture of the English we use, while illuminating scores of usage questions old and new. International in scope, it gives in-depth coverage of both British and American English usage issues, with reference also to the English of Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, and South Africa. The thousands of authentic examples in the book vividly demonstrate how modern writers tackls debated usage issues. They come on the one hand from established literary figures such as Chinua Achebe, Peter Ackroyd, Raymond Carver, Iris Murdoch, Harold Pinter, and Vikram Seth.
On the other, they are drawn from a vast range of newspapers, journals, books, broadcast material, websites, and other digital sources from across the globe, and include references to topical personalities such as Stephen Fry, Prince Harry, Jeremy Paxman, and Wayne Rooney. Based on the evidence and research of the Oxford Dictionaries Programme, this is the most comprehensive and authoritative guide to usage available.
About the Author
Henry Watson Fowler (1858-1933) worked as a teacher and freelance writer before going to Guernsey to form a remarkably successful writing partnership with his brother Francis. Most notably, the Fowler brothers wrote The King's English, and compiled the first edition of the Concise Oxford Dictionary (1911). Henry Fowler finished the Pocket Oxford Dictionary in 1924, and Modern English Usage, which made him a household name, in 1926.
`Review from previous edition Full of lucid advice'
`[Fowler's Modern English Usage] offers impeccable advice.'
`Compared with the liberalism of other grammars, Burchfield's englightened pedantry is a sheer joy to read and consult.'
`Burchfield, in his new edition, has succeeded admirably in producing a sensible, practical, up-to-date, sometimes controversial, and altogether excellent guide to English usage'
Manchester Evening News
`To consult Fowler is to consult the oracle. Those of us who get worked up about English can turn to Fowler: he smoothes one's fevered brow.'
Lynne Truss, The Guardian
`If the good and truthful use of language matters ... then Fowler was more than the harmless drudge of Johnson's phrase and more than a great English eccentric. He was a hero.'
`The Dictionary on the whole speaks about the extraordinary skill and expertise of Fowler as a lexicographer and linguist.'
The Huffington Post
`Some care about getting English right; others don't. For those who do, there is a higher authority, a sacred book, that offers guidance through our grammatical vale of tears. Its full title is A Dictionary of Modern English Usage'
The New York Times
Preface to the Fourth Edition ; Acknowledgements ; Dedication, 1926 ; Key to the Pronunciation ; Abbreviations and Symbols ; Bibliographical Abbreviations ; A to Z