September 2, 2019

Dreyer's English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style by Benjamin Dreyer

Random House Publishing Group | January 2019 | 320 pgs
Source: Library 


This book was brought to my attention thanks to Jenclair's review. I've to admit I rarely seek out nonfiction or guidebooks alike but I'll pick them up if they received good reviews and/or if fellow bookbloggers recommend them. Hence, here it is. 

Now the book title sounds like a textbook but do not let it deter you from reading it. Benjamin Dreyer is Random House's longtime copy chief and obviously he knows all the works and styles of writing good English. Contrary to the seriousness of the book title it may sound, Dreyer's writing doesn't come across as too dry or boring and although there is a certain level of authoritative tone which I find is inevitable, there are also some parts that show his witty side as he shares with the reader about the experiences he'd encountered when working with authors or conversations with the people he'd met with. 

Generally, this book offers lessons on the ins and outs of punctuation (are you confused on how and when to use semicolon? Well, you can find the answers here!) and grammar, the appropriate way of writing numbers, proper nouns, a list of frequently/easily misspelled words, as well as a few others which are essential and relevant to good writing. Dreyer's guidelines are clear and precise, and truth be told, I don't think I've ever enjoyed reading a guidebook that much like this. And I think (yes, it's OK to begin a sentence with "And" or "But") with the commonly use of social media, emails and other communicative tools aside from the usual formal writing, it is necessary for the writer to communicate their ideas clearly and effectively. Long story short, this is a book for everyone who wants to improve their writing skills as well as for anyone who has a passion for the language itself. 


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8 comments:

  1. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Mostly, I agreed with Dreyer's take on grammar, punctuation, and syntax--which is why I liked it, of course. :)

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  2. I could've used this book in college!

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    1. Lark - That's what I thought, too. ;)

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  3. I will have to read this one. I really enjoyed Lynn Truss's Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation, but it has been years since I read that one. I think I still have my copy!

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    1. Wendy - I haven't read Eats, Shoots & Leaves. I'll have to add it to my wishlist.

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  4. I used to have several books on style and usage but got rid of them a long time ago. Maybe I should start building my library again with this one! Glad you enjoyed it.

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    1. Iliana - I don't read a lot of grammar and style books as they remind me of my school days (haha!) but this one was a good read as I enjoyed the author's prose and not to mention his witty tone. :)

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