on January 20, 2000
I teach business writing in industry and government, and I recommend the Gregg Manual enthusiastically in all my programs, at every level. There are a lot of wonderful resources out there, including Albert Joseph's classic EXECUTIVE GUIDE TO GRAMMAR, that can help you understand what makes our language tick, but there is nothing like Gregg when you need an authoritative answer NOW to a specific (even picayune) question. And it's striking to see how EXCITED seemingly well-balanced people from all walks of life can be when they first get their hands on Gregg. After reading the other reviews here, I am even preparing to do the unthinkable and buy a new copy - just to see what the new edition has to say about computers (my copy is a little old...).
on September 5, 2001
The Gregg Reference Manual is the most thorough and readable handbook I've found in thirty-years-plus of teaching writing. As the author of an online grammar resource, I get hundreds of questions about writing every week, and I find myself reaching for GRM over and over again to help me define a grammatical point or resolve an issue of English usage. I find GRM very easy to use (unlike an earlier reviewer on this page); its index is enormous and you don't waste time being bounced from one cross-reference to another. The organization is admirably simple: the section on letter-writing, for example, begins with an extensive section on formatting, and then proceeds to the business of what you put on the envelope, how to use return addresses, etc., right down to the letter's closing. The book contains an abundance of examples, complete with acceptable ranges of formality (with a tip of the hat to what is still acceptable but somewhat too formal by today's tastes). All of this information is nicely, thoroughly indexed with references to paragraph numbers and pages where appropriate. GRM also contains up-to-date advice on altering templates in today's software packages (for stationery, etc.) to individual and corporate needs. William Sabin's even-handed style is ideal for this kind of text; he will state a grammatical rule concisely and then give just enough illustrations to make the rule stick in the mind. Where there is disagreement among other style books, Sabin provides for those differences and often suggests a commonsense resolution of disputes. But GRM is more than just a compilation of rules: Sabin gets into the nitty-gritty of writing, of style, and all users, at whatever level, will write with more economy and energy --whether they're writing a memo to the boss or an academic research paper -- if they keep GRM handy. (The spiral-bound edition is handy for this purpose: you can use that spiral ring to grab it off the shelf and then it lies nice and flat on the desktop.)
on October 11, 2001
As a written and oral communications trainer specializing in grammar, I needed the best reference manual I could find for my students. After reviewing dozens of them for over a decade, The Gregg Reference Manual by William Sabin continues to receive an A+ in my book. It is the only one I recommend because it is so comprehensive in scope, easy to use, and simple to understand. I take my copy with me everywhere.
Working with varied groups as a grammar expert, I am concerned about receiving a question I can't answer. Thanks to The Gregg Reference Manual, that's never happened. I've found answers to questions about even the finest points of grammar as do my students. Regardless of the concept in question, the book is amazingly easy to navigate thanks to its unique index. Unlike others, this one does not simply contain page references. Mr. Sabin references the numerous and detailed subjects in his index to distinctly numbered and lettered paragraphs instead. Those paragraphs contain both clear explanations of the related rules along with enlightening examples that serve to clarify rather than complicate the issues in question.
In my business, I have worked with thoursands of corporate and government employees ranging from experts in English to those who can barely differentiate between a subject and a verb. Whatever their English expertise or lack thereof, I recommend this manual to all of them. Without exception, those who bought it are praising it for the resons mentioned in this review and more. In addition, the price is right.
Try it for yourself, and join the myriad of other satisfied users who say, "Gregg is great!"
on April 20, 1998
I have had a current copy of The Gregg Reference Manual for over 10 years. It was a required purchase for a business correspondence course in college. It is an excellent source for any aspect of writing. It covers proper use of grammer, punctuation, spelling, editing, letter writing--you name it. Whenever I'm in doubt about ANYTHING I need to write, I use this book, and can always find the answer. The manual is very well organized into sections and numbered paragraphs. Examples are used for clarity, as well as examples of what not to do.
I highly recommend this book.
on May 5, 2001
If I could give this book ten stars, I would. It is absolutely the best, most usable reference book of its kind. My jobs have all required superior composition abilities and, starting with its seventh edition, this book has been my required companion for almost ten years. It has always provided the answer I sought (often with extensive coverage), no matter the subject, no matter how obscure it seemed. Not only does this book have everything, but the index is the most comprehensive I have seen in any book, which significantly increases its usability. GRM is a must-have for anyone who writes, edits or proofreads, whether term papers, business letters, manuscripts, or any other writing. It has rules and examples of grammar, usage, capitalization (an astronomical list of rules), the gamut of punctuation, sentence structure, formats for a wide range of documents, forms of address and salutation, proper titles for individuals, government and other officials--the list goes on and on. I would almost venture to say if the rule isn't in this book it doesn't exist, and if it does it isn't significant! Make this book yours; if writing correctly is important to you, it will be one of your most worthwhile purchases.
on April 13, 2004
I am an independent corporate trainer who teaches people to write better at work. When my students ask me for my advice about good books to guide them as they write at work, this is the reference book I recommend.
I also tell them several other things about the book. First, this is not just some handbook that secretaries can use to look up how to format a letter. It is an authoritative reference for all aspects of writing English. It should be next to the dictionary and thesaurus on the shelf of everyone who needs to write at work, from clerks to executives. Second, if your boss or anyone else argues with you about any rule of writing, you only have to point to the relevant entry in this book. All arguments stop there. Third, the size of the book is deceptive. It uses small font and thin paper. With normal font and paper, it would be the size of two or three large dictionaries. That's how much useful stuff is packed in this book.
It takes a while to get used to how the information in the book is formatted, but it is well worth the effort. All entries in the index include page numbers as well as topic numbers, which they call "rules." The book is logically structured around these rules, and it makes related topics easy to find.
I rated this book 5 stars because I think it is superior in all categories for a reference book: comprehensive content, abundant examples, thorough index, authoritative author, and reasonable price.
on August 8, 2001
I've used this book for years, and I think it's terrific. Why? Four reasons: First, the information about grammar and usage is so mainstream, so consistent with the majority of other important references (The Chicago Manual of Style, for one). Second, it is accurate and reliable. Third, the outstanding index makes it wonderfully easy to use; you can look something up, in everyday terms, and readily find a reference. Fourth, the rules are short and the examples clear; once you've found the rule you need, you can read it, grasp it, and 30 seconds later be on your way.
As a full-time trainer of writers and editors, I have used this book with everyone from grammar-challenged support staff to highly educated professional editors. With some classes, I've also used the optional worksheets (sold separately). I can't recommend Gregg highly enough.
on September 17, 2001
The Gregg Reference Manual covers virtually every aspect of English writing. It is as fundamental to my writing efforts as a dictionary or thesaurus. It is so thorough and well organized, it could easily replace a stack of textbooks and be used as the basis of a high school or college English course. I have written three books, and in the final editing process I've gone through the Gregg Manual page by page, testing each rule on my manuscript, invariably finding numerous things needing correction or improvement. I have learned more about proper English from this book than from any other single source.
One thing to keep in mind is that this reference manual focuses on business writing, not fiction. There are sections that don't apply to novel writers. Nevertheless, most of the information applies to all writing. This book is an easy recommendation to anyone serious about quality writing. Christopher Bonn Jonnes, author of Wake Up Dead.
on January 21, 2002
I have many reference books, including some of popular stylebooks; none match Gregg's usefulness. The manual has consistently given me answers to my questions, and done so without forcing me to cross-reference here, there, and everywhere. With the Gregg Ref. Manual, what you need is easy to find (as far as reference books go). And I have found that it is also more comprehensive, and clearer than other style/reference books. Everyone should have a copy.
on January 12, 2000
What a great addition to anyone's reference library. I have been an Administrative Assistant for 20 years and have used The Gregg Reference Manual (fifth edition) until now! The ninth edition far surpasses what I thought a reference manual could be: easy to read, well organized, spiral bound for ease of paging, and the world time zones map a great addition. Definitely, a must have reference. In fact, order two -- one for the office and one for home -- you can't go wrong!