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Synopsis

English is a blend of passion and logic, except in spelling, which has nothing to do with either. Language is a set of conventions, some of them sensible, and some accidental. Usage is not so much a question of what is right or wrong as of what is or is not accepted. Accepted by whom? By the experts and the committees, and the advisers and the authorities, the stylists, and the grammarists, bless them, who write dictionaries, style guides, textbooks, handbooks, and grammar books in seventy-five volumes. They set limits; decide who has wiggle room and where. Academic writing operates in solitary confinement. Technical writing is medium-security; business writing a work-release effort. Next to them, creative writing is a resort. The only writing manual most writers will ever want -- or need!

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