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Garner's Modern American Usage


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About the Author

Bryan Garner is the best-selling author of The Elements of Legal Style, The Winning Brief, and Legal Writing in Plain English, co-author with Antonin Scalia of Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges, and editor-in-chief of Black's Law Dictionary. With his company LawProse, Inc., Garner has given writing seminars on improving communication to more than 80,000 lawyers and judges across the country.


This jewel of a reference, now in its second edition, answers just about any question you may have about the usage of American English. As indicated by lexicographer Garner (Elements of Legal Style), the reason for this update has little to do with massive changes in the language since the 1998 edition. Instead, Garner felt he needed to clarify an overwhelming amount of information about the accurate usage of terms and phrases and had more time for research. His research certainly paid off, as this remarkable reference features over 9000 entries and subentries (38 percent more than the first) and is backed up with 7200 citations, of which 1850 are from the 21st century. Arranged alphabetically, the hefty yet concise tome is also filled with cross references and a quick guide on the inside cover that allows readers to jump to the necessary page without having to leaf through. Yet paging through is a treat because you never know what you will learn next. Garner, whose passion for language is evident throughout, also includes illuminating essays addressing issues of usage and style, neatly listed at the beginning of the book to help users identify them. The entries are detailed and engaging-those for "impactful," "sexism," and "phrasal adjectives," for example, are so thorough that they alone make the book worth the price. Essential for wordsmiths, librarians, and literary types of all persuasions.-Manya S. Chylinski, Ernst & Young Ctr. for Business, Boston Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

"Clearly one of the best works on the topic" --Booklist starred review

"Whether taking those first steps on the road to good writing--namely, the avoidance of bad writing--or tending to further details of clarity, style, and organization, the writer-editor, like any artisan, needs guidance from a master. Such guidance is just what Garner's Modern American Usage provides, and lots of it." --Five Towns Jewish Times
"Garner makes grammar fun, and readers will not only find elucidation but also moments of pure delight while browsing these pages. As always, the entries are not only filled with clear lessons about language usage, trends, and problems inherent in misuse, but they are also peppered with cleverly chosen examples of both usage and misusage. [Garner's] book is the best of its kind in that it simply reports the facts in an engaging way; language evolves and usage changes. An invaluable ready-reference tool." School Library Journal
"Garner's book is by far the best on contemporary usage. For language lovers or for those attempting to find out how words are being used today, Garner's Modern American Usage is an indispensable tool." --Technical Communication

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