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7 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on January 15, 2001
Nothing new here. Nothing particular to ponder over. Nothing that Elements of Style, Words into Type, and Webster's New Collegiate can't do for you, and a lot better. She's conservative, which is okay in grammar, but not so hot for political issues that everyone in publishing has to deal with. Gender neutrality is important, if you don't want to turn off a lot of your audience, and to refer to it in the non-neutral term, political correctness, is not going to make the problem disappear. I, too, was taught as a kid that "men" referred to men and women, but I never bought that and I think the phrase, "all men are created equal" pans that out. Our founding fathers were in fact talking about "men." Furthermore, what happens to someone like me when I'm writing about a scientific experiment? Men has to mean men. So to be accurate and clear, I try to say what I'm actually talking about. But whatever your take on this issue, everybody I know who writes for a living rewrites to get around gender because it's so loaded. Wallraff seems behind the times on this issue and other issues that writers and editors have to face all the time. The book is charming and fun, and it has lots of basic grammar information that the general public doesn't seem to know, so it's probably useful for nonprofessionals. Hey, if it can get Bill Clinton to stop saying, "Between you and I," I'll be thrilled.
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