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Words into Type Paperback – May 13, 1974

ISBN-13: 978-0139642623 ISBN-10: 0139642625 Edition: 3rd Revised

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Frequently Bought Together

Words into Type + The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition + The Copyeditor's Handbook: A Guide for Book Publishing and Corporate Communications
Price for all three: $118.05

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 585 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall, Inc.; 3rd Revised edition (May 13, 1974)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0139642625
  • ISBN-13: 978-0139642623
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,055 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

This is the definitive text for questions of manuscript protocol, copyediting, style, grammar, and usage. For those who find The Chicago Manual of Style a bit cumbersome and sometimes ambigous, Words Into Type will be a welcome reference guide. With its easy-to-use index and definitive explanations, this third edition makes life simpler for writers, editors, and proofreaders. You may never need to know about frontispieces and imprimaturs, but if you deal with words, this is a wonderfully edifying, reassuring fount of clarity and wisdom.

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Customer Reviews

Clear, informative, with an excellent index.
Talley Sue Hohlfeld, Chief Copy Editor, InformationWeek (thohlfel@cmp.com)
Words into Type was more comprehensive while being at the same time easier to use and understand.
Dennis Littrell
This book is a classic that far outstrips Chicago Manual of Style for ease of use.
Marsha E. Jones

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

120 of 120 people found the following review helpful By Greg Todd on May 31, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is simply the best guide available for grammar, style, and usage. As a professional editor, I believe this reference is far superior to the Chicago manual or any other published guide to grammar and usage. It is clear, well-organized, and comprehensive. The index is tremendously helpful. The sole problem with Words Into Type is that it was published before we all started using computers, and therefore parts of the book dealing with the technical aspects of publishing are dated. Nevertheless, it remains the best grammar and usage text available. I use my copy almost daily. It is the most indispensable reference book on my shelf.
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59 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Reginald on April 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is a great style guide; however, it hasn't been updated to include technology and practice for even the late twentieth century! When talking computer technology, Words into Type talks about cathode ray tubes, for crying out loud. Having said all that, it is in many cases, much more user-friendly than the Chicago Manual of Style. Where Chicago can be vague or indecisive, Words is most helpful. Apart from the fact that Words really needs to be updated, it's an invaluable tool. Since it hasn't been updated since 1974, you'd be better offbuying a used copy than plunking down good dough for a text that's 30 years old.
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52 of 53 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 29, 2001
Format: Paperback
Anyone in the business of putting words onto paper has no need to read these reviews: He already knows that Words into Type is an indispensable companion in his craft.
In a headline, should both words in a hyphenated compound be capitalized? Words into Type lets you know. Does one acquiesce "to," "with," or "in" something? Words into Type has the answer. Should a noun before a gerund always be possessive? Words into Type is ready with reassuring guidance.
As this edition of Words into Type approaches the end of its third decade, portions of it may seem quaintly out of date. Other books can give you a more current account of the printing process, for example. But for matters of style--tables, footnotes, typography, copy editing, and much else besides--no other book gives better guidance than this underappreciated volume.
As an editor, my reference shelf is brimming with style guides, and Words into Type is the most dog-eared among them. A professional writer or editor would make do with nothing less.
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Format: Paperback
I've been a professional copyeditor on major national publications for 15 years, and I wouldn't be without this book. Since the new edition won't be out anytime soon, get this! Clear, informative, with an excellent index. Who cares about the Optima typeface? The information here is valuable.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By "bathsheba_wiles" on August 7, 2003
Format: Paperback
Granted, the most recent edition came out in 1974, but Words Into Type is still the reference I turn to first with grammar and usage questions. (For style, I keep the NY Times Manual of Style and Usage handy.) Unlike the Chicago Manual of Style, WIT has a usable index that must have been put together by a mind-reader. It's organized the way people think and usually anticipates the form my bewilderment will take: Does "what" take a plural or singular verb? The answer's under "what" in the index. Should I say "as if it was" or "as if it were"? Look under "If clauses." Is it different from or different than? The index leads me right to my answer. I wish the editors would come out with a new edition, but for now I'm loyal to the increasingly ancient Third.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Littrell HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
Somebody who had read my review of Bryan A Garner's Modern American Usage, 2nd ed. (2003)--IMHO, the preeminent book on usage, per se--wrote me the other day asking about a good book on typographical style. I recommended Words into Type which I have used for many years. But as I prepared to write a review, I was amazed to learn that a new edition of this outstanding reference work is lacking.

What we have here is the Third Edition from 1974, the same book I have in front of me. Yet, so much has changed since 1974--including the invention and phenomenal growth of a little thing called the Internet--that a new and updated work is sorely needed. On the other hand, so much in terms of what is appropriate style in the publishing world has not changed, which means that this venerable and authoritative work remains a most valuable addition to anyone's library.

First, a note on "style" as used here and as understood in the publishing business. Style does not refer to what should more properly be called the writer's "mode of expression," nor does it refer to such things as elegance or flair in wordsmithing; and yet it does have something to do with "fashion" in terms of how words, numbers, and symbols appear on the pages of books, magazines, and newspapers. In this sense "style" refers to "the rules or customs of spelling, punctuation, and the like..." (from Random House Webster's College Dictionary).

Style should therefore be contrasted with and compared to usage and grammar. Indeed Words into Type includes in its pages plenty of advice on grammar and usage. Part V is devoted to "Use of Words" and Part VI to "Grammar.
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