- Hardcover: 978 pages
- Publisher: Merriam Webster; Reprint edition (November 1, 1994)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0877791325
- ISBN-13: 978-0877791324
- Product Dimensions: 2 x 7.5 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 45 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #198,167 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English Usage Reprint Edition
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It's extremely helpful when I need to explain to an author why I changed "affect" to "effect" or "forward" to "foreward" in their book manuscript. I remember the rules but I cannot always explain them, and this book helps me with that.
I know that I can always look up grammar rules online, but I still prefer having quick access to this printed reference that I store next to the dictionary on my office bookshelf.
It is the bible of the descriptivist faction in the unending skirmishes over modern American grammar, diction and usage.
To complement this volume, you should also have a copy of the prescriptivist bible: "Garner's Modern American Usage."
Between them, they will keep you reliably informed on the language as it is actually being used and on the language as it is viewed by those who are well- (and sometimes over-) educated.
Those who criticize this book for what they perceive as its anything-goes advice do not understand its purpose. They might be better served by buying only the Garner book and steering clear of this one.