Garner’s Modern American Usage

Garner's Modern American Usage

(Oxford University Press, 3rd edition, 2009)

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Since first appearing in 1998, Garner’s Modern American Usage has established itself as the gold standard for English usage. It’s the book people turn to when they need guidance on grammar or style: the most comprehensive A–Z guide on editorial questions of every kind. The book is replete with insight and wit — as well as authoritative editorial rulings — on more than 10,000 troublespots in the language, including a vs. an historical, flaunt vs. flout, hanged vs. hung, imply vs. infer, and the problems with irregardless.

Garner’s Modern American Usage has established itself as the preeminent contemporary guide to effective use of the English language. Brimming with brief, erudite, and even witty entries on troublesome words and phrases, Bryan A. Garner’s authoritative guide shows how to avoid the countless pitfalls that await unwary writers and speakers, presenting advice in an accessible and engaging style on questions of grammar, word-choice, punctuation, pronunciation, and style.

This much-expanded third edition has been thoroughly updated with new material on nearly every page. Each of the more than 10,500 entries has been reconsidered, and fresh examples of good and bad usage from international sources have been added throughout.

An exciting new feature of this edition is the Language-Change Index, which registers where each disputed usage in modern English falls on a continuum from Stage 1 (widely considered incorrect) to Stage 5 (universally accepted as good English). Garner’s is the first usage guide to incorporate such an index. The judgments are based both on Garner’s own research in linguistic corpora and on his analysis of many earlier studies. Another first for this edition is the advisory panel of more than 120 critical readers who helped Garner amplify and update the text.

Garner’s Modern American Usage can help anyone, no matter how knowledgeable, use English more precisely and elegantly. It remains a delightful diversion for language-lovers of all persuasions. After dipping into it for a few minutes, you’ll find it a hard book to lay aside.