The Accidents of Style
Good Advice on How Not to Write Badly
Fasten your seat belt for a crash course in careful usage.... Just like automobile accidents, accidents of style occur all over the English-speaking world, in print and on the Internet, thousands of times every day. They range from minor fender benders, such as confusing their and there, to serious smashups, such as misusing sensual for sensuous or writing loathe when you mean loath.
Charles Harrington Elster shows you how to navigate the hairpin turns of grammar, diction, spelling, and punctuation with an entertaining driver's manual covering 350 common word hazards and infractions, arranged in order of complexity for writers of all levels. Elster illustrates these surprisingly common accidents with quotations from numerous print and online publications, many of them highly regarded---which perhaps should make us feel better: If the horrendous redundancy close proximity and the odious construction what it is, is have appeared in The New York Times, maybe our own accidents will be forgiven. But that shouldn't keep us from aspiring to accident-free writing and speaking.
If you want to get on the road to writing well, The Accidents of Style will help you drive home what you want to say.
- St. Martin's Press, July 2010
St. Martin's Griffin
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