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Garner's Modern American Usage (1998)

de Bryan A. Garner

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607829,095 (4.7)12
The first edition of Garner's Modern American Usage established Bryan Garner as "an American equivalent of Fowler" (Library Journal). With more than 23,500 copies sold, this witty, accessible, and engaging book has become the new classic reference work praised by professional copyeditors as well as the general public looking for clear advice on how to write more effectively. In 1999, Choice magazine named it an Outstanding Academic Book and the American Library Association dubbed it an Outstanding Reference Source. With thousands of succinct entries, longer essays on key issues and problematic areas, and up-to-the-minute judgments on everything from trendy words to the debate over personal pronouns, GMAU is approachable yet authoritative. Since the book first appeared in 1998, Bryan Garner has diligently continued tracking how we use our language. The second edition includes hundreds of new entries ranging from Dubya to weaponize (coined in 1984 but used extensively since 9/11) to foot-and-mouth, plethora (a "highfalutin equivalent of too many"), Slang, Standard English, and Dialects. It also updates hundreds of existing entries. Meanwhile, Garner has written a major essay on the great grammar debate between descriptivists and prescriptivists. Painstakingly researched with copious citations from books and newspapers and newsmagazines, this new edition furthers Garner's mission to help everyone become a better writer, and to enjoy it in the process.… (mais)
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A fantastic reference book that I've now put aside in favor of a more complete version. I consult one or the other of these references weekly if not nearly daily (often just for fun). ( )
  dllh | Jan 6, 2021 |
We just added Garner's to our editorial library at work, and I'm thoroughly enjoying the irreverent tone of voice, as well as the Language Change Index he employs to mark the ubiquity of questionable usage. I highly recommend this guide for both professional and amateur word nerds. ( )
  revafisheye | Jan 10, 2020 |
This took me about three years to read because I kept it in the bathroom and read it only when I was getting ready for the day, brushing my teeth, etc. But it was worth the while and wait. I now know a lot more about language and grammar than I did before. A ton more. I bow down before Garner; he is a grammar god, a judicious Jehovah of usage. Read and learn. ( )
  evamat72 | Mar 31, 2016 |
An indispensable reference work for writers and other grammar nerds. If you have a question about grammar or style, consult Garner. For even more fun, subscribe to Garner's Usage Tip of the Day from Oxford UP [http://www.us.oup.com/us/subscriptions/subscribe/?view=usa]and/or check out David Foster Wallace's excellent essay (published in Harper's in 2001) about A Dictionary of Modern Usage, this volume's predecessor: [http://instruct.westvalley.edu/lafave/DFW_present_tense.html]. ( )
  melaniemaksin | Oct 14, 2013 |
Yes I'm reading a usage dictionary cover to cover, a to z. That's what I do. But I might cheat with "which" because I want to know what he thinks of its mutation into a conjunction. Instant-gratification prescriptivists forEVAR.
  ljhliesl | Jun 1, 2013 |
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The first edition of Bryan Garner's book on usage is called A Dictionary of Modern American Usage (1998). The second edition (2003) and third edition (2009) are both called Garner's Modern American Usage and contain significantly different content, thus requiring the books be kept separate. If possible, try to separate the editions: 1st (1998), 2nd (2003), 3rd (2009).

Note that there was an unrelated book called Modern American Usage written by Wilson Follett and others. That book, too, was changed significantly in later editions.
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The first edition of Garner's Modern American Usage established Bryan Garner as "an American equivalent of Fowler" (Library Journal). With more than 23,500 copies sold, this witty, accessible, and engaging book has become the new classic reference work praised by professional copyeditors as well as the general public looking for clear advice on how to write more effectively. In 1999, Choice magazine named it an Outstanding Academic Book and the American Library Association dubbed it an Outstanding Reference Source. With thousands of succinct entries, longer essays on key issues and problematic areas, and up-to-the-minute judgments on everything from trendy words to the debate over personal pronouns, GMAU is approachable yet authoritative. Since the book first appeared in 1998, Bryan Garner has diligently continued tracking how we use our language. The second edition includes hundreds of new entries ranging from Dubya to weaponize (coined in 1984 but used extensively since 9/11) to foot-and-mouth, plethora (a "highfalutin equivalent of too many"), Slang, Standard English, and Dialects. It also updates hundreds of existing entries. Meanwhile, Garner has written a major essay on the great grammar debate between descriptivists and prescriptivists. Painstakingly researched with copious citations from books and newspapers and newsmagazines, this new edition furthers Garner's mission to help everyone become a better writer, and to enjoy it in the process.

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