From the Inside Flap
The tenth edition of this bestselling guide to style is based on the house style manual of The Economist newspaper. It is an invaluable companion for everyone who wants to communicate with the clarity, style and precision for which The Economist is famous. The first section, which has been revised and updated to reflect current usage (or misusage), gives general advice on writing, points out common errors and clichés, offers guidance on the proper use of punctuation and grammar, helps with spelling and hyphens, and much more.
The second section highlights the important differences between American and British English syntax and punctuation, spelling and usage and has been thoroughly revised and updated.
The third section contains a range of useful reference material, which has been checked and revised, covering everything from business ratios and stock market indices to chemical elements, US presidents and British prime ministers. Some new additions are the Greek alphabet, mathematical symbols, the winter Olympic games and the solar system.
An essential book for anyone who writes reports, articles, books, letters or memoranda or even shopping listsThe Economist Style Guide will enlighten, educate and amuse.
- Aggravate means make worse not irritate or annoy.
- Alibi An alibi is the fact of being elsewhere, not a false explanation.
- Anticipate does not mean expect. Jack and Jill expected to marry; if they anticipated marriage, only Jill might find herself expectant.
- Born, borne are both past participles of the verb bear. Born is used in the sense of giving birth: She was born in April. Borne is used for supporting or putting up with (The victims has borne enough pain) and for giving birth in active constructions (She had already borne six children).
- Compare A is compared with B when you draw attention to the difference. A is compared to B only when you want to stress their similarity, as in Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
- Continuous describes something uninterrupted. Continual admits of a break. If your neighbours play load music every night, it is a continual nuisance; it is not a continuous one unless the music is never turned off.
- Council, counsel A council is a body of people, elected or appointed, that advises, administers, organizes, legislates, etc. Counsel (noun) means advice or consultant, or lawyers who give legal advice and fight cases in court.
- Discreet, discrete Discreet means circumspect or prudent. Discrete means separate or distinct.
- Forgo, forego Forgo means do without; it forgoes the e. Forego means go before.
- Healthy If you think something is desirable or good, say so. Do not call it healthy.
- Jargon Avoid it.
- Journalese and slang Slang, like metaphors, should be used only occasionally of it is to have effect. Avoid expressions used only by journalists, such as giving people the thumbs up, the thumbs down or the green light.
- Political correctness Avoid, if you can, giving gratuitous offence: you risk losing your readers or at least their goodwill, and therefore your arguments. But pandering to every plea for politically correct terminology may make your prose unreadable, and therefore unread.
- Proactive Not a pretty word: try active or energetic.
- Ring, wring (verbs) bells are rung, hands are wrung. Both may be seen at weddings.
- Short words Use them.