- Paperback: 512 pages
- Publisher: Free Press; 0002- edition (December 1, 1995)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0684826321
- ISBN-13: 978-0684826325
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.5 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 35 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #319,205 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Careful Writer 0002- Edition
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Who might benefit from Bernstein's work? Students, technical professionals, lawyers, teachers, professors--in short, anyone who writes.
Having spent several years as a technical editor, trying to translate the writing of engineers into readable English, I concluded that engineering schools don't spend much time on communication skills. I've since expanded that to include most professions and schools and colleges. People are daunted by the task of expressing their ideas in writing.
Mr. Bernstein helps greatly in this. Not only is this book going to help any writer/editor to trim down the non-essential verbosity and correct misused words, it will evoke the occasional chuckle.
A few reviewers argue that it is out of date because it doesn't include the internet or changes in style over the past 50-plus years. Ridiculous! The author's intention was to select the most common, everyday errors in grammar and print. These mistakes are still being made today - just pick up most newspapers, magazines - and worst of all, most blogs. How many blogs have you read whose authors confuse there and their, for example? Two of my friends are professors at different colleges. Sadly, they tell me many of their student papers are at a lower baseline than the one from which the author of this book assumes the reader is starting!
English is a beautiful language. To express oneself well in English is a joy. This book was written by a man whose intended audience were those who cared about it too.
You should be aware that a great many of the entries are exceedingly short and either not intended for reading or of marginal value. In the former category are the many cross references. Nearly as brief are the one-sentence entries pertaining to various verbs, "Takes the preposition [named preposition]." The longer entries range from a brief paragraph to several pages or more.
As much as I like this work, one major caveat is in order. The book you'll be buying, though new, is the same book as originally published in 1965. This should not be too much of a problem as long as you keep in mind that author Bernstein's rules are 50 years old, and while most are applicable today some are not. I recommend the book for people who are keenly aware of current usage and able to distinguish an outdated judgment.