The Penguin Dictionary of American Usage and Style
"The Penguin Dictionary of American English Style and Usage" is a readable reference book that illuminates thousands of pitfalls and traps that snare ... Show synopsis "The Penguin Dictionary of American English Style and Usage" is a readable reference book that illuminates thousands of pitfalls and traps that snare writers and speakers -- and shows how to avoid them. Designed for general readers as well as those who work with words, it has more than 1,000 major entries and sub-entries, from A and And, Abbreviation, and Abide and Abide By to Latter, Lay and Lie, and Lay Off and Layoff to Punctuation, Pupil and Student, and Purport, Purported to Wither and Writhe, Your and You're, and Zero In. Entries range from a few sentences in length to -- in the case of Punctuation, with sub-entries on the Apostrophe, Colon, and Comma, and so on -- as many as thirty pages. This book is distinguished for its many examples and for its generally conservative approach to usage. The author does not simply tell readers what to do, he shows them, often wittily as well as insightfully, through analysis of some 2,000 quoted examples of misusage and questionable usage from the press and other media. And readers who find themselves floundering in a sea of permissivism, never sure but what something might be considered "correct" just because "everybody does it", will welcome Mr. Lovinger's dictionary as an antidote to laissez-faire lexicography and anything-goes grammar.