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Common Errors in English Usage Paperback – Feb 2002

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Product details

  • Paperback: 246 pages
  • Publisher: Franklin, Beedle & Associates Inc (Feb. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1887902899
  • ISBN-13: 978-1887902892
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.3 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 309,364 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

This book has met my expectation. I will recommend it to those that are not very confident about their spoken and written English.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 24 reviews
64 of 70 people found the following review helpful
Practice Makes Perfect 22 Dec. 2006
By Rebecca of Amazon - Published on
Should that be "Practise" or did I use the right spelling?

In the United Kingdom, "practice" is the noun, "practise" the verb; but in the U.S. the spelling "practice" is commonly used for both, though the distinction is sometimes observed. ~ pg. 161

The entries in Paul Brians' "Common Errors in English Usage" are organized alphabetically and provide hours of amusement for anyone who loves language. This book brought back memories of childhood, in those moments where the use of "borrowed" and "lend" were taught at school. Then there is the every present annoyance of "its/it's." Who has not made a mistake while spelling lightening and lightning?

Humor abounds as in the picture of man and bear with the caption: "For a moment he was confused - was he being attacked by a bear presently or currently?"

Some of the most intriguing entries include:

immaculate conception/virgin birth

You can be jealous of your boyfriend's attraction to other women, but you're envious of your boyfriend's CD collection. ~ pg. 74

This book discusses redundancies, like "DVD disk," but doesn't discuss the difference between CDs and CD's. One is of course possessive while the other is plural.

If I said chai tea, would that be a redundancy? Actually, redundancy also means being unemployed. I still like saying chai tea, but this book says it is pointless and it is also called masala chai. As this tea grows every more popular, I'm sure the way we ask for tea will correct itself.

Why would anyone use sacred instead of scared? This book also deals with common typos. You have to love uses like "same difference." Why do they say "There is no such word as "verbage" when I do find this word in an online dictionary as "jargon." Of course, an urban dictionary may send some people into a state of shock. The author cautions against using nonstandard and obsolete words and says that just because a word is in a dictionary, doesn't mean it is being "endorsed."

If you tend to think up a lot of your own words or like to be playful then some of the entries will make you feel a little rebellious. For those who are longing to perfect their writing, this book can be invaluable. Well, as they say practice makes perfect although my first indication is to type "practise."

"Colour vs. Color" is a far less common usage problem, although I must say that as a child, I was smacked on the hands with a ruler for that one. I had apparently learned the word "color" before moving overseas.

This book would make a perfect present for anyone interested in language, will provide lots of laughs and will bring back memories from childhood. Frankly, I found this to be a fun book. OK, so now I can't use "Frankly" anymore. This book says that I have just abused the English language.

Sentences beginning with this word are properly admissions of something shocking or unflattering to the speaker; but when a public spokesperson for a business or government is speaking, it almost always precedes a self-serving statement. ~ pg. 88

If you have ever lived overseas or have tried to use foreign words, this book unveils faux pas and British/U.S. Spellings.

~The Rebecca Review
37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
Fine nuances of the English language 21 Sept. 2003
By Midwest Book Review - Published on
Common Errors In English Usage puts the wisdom of author and English professor Paul Brians' web site, "Common Errors in English," into print. Offering essential information concerning commonly misused words and phrases, from a scholar whose web site has been endorsed by BBC Online, Life magazine, USA Today, Yahoo! Internet (among others), Common Errors In English Usage is a practical, sensible, and very highly recommended "reader friendly" educational resource and reference for anyone seeking to improve their personal command of the fine nuances of the English language.
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Gets to the Point 4 May 2004
By Kathie Meyer - Published on
This is a great book to flip through while waiting for the bus, the doctor, etc. Because humor and anecdotes are used, the explanations are more likely to be remembered than if one used a dry style manual. Well done!
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Entertaining! 18 Jun. 2003
By Scott Lewis - Published on
More than mere common errors, Brians' compilation explains some cleverly deceptive mistakes as well. His analysis is clear and - I admit - entertaining reading for a lover of words.
29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
A Priceless Gift for Many 20 Feb. 2006
By David Wilson - Published on
Verified Purchase
I don't think I'm the worst user of the English language but I do make my share of errors. This book is clear, easy to read and well organized. It has helped me many times and will continue to do so in the future. Of course, it is also rewarding to look up a word or grammatical usage and find that you were right! This book should be on the desk of everyone who cares about how they come across to others when writing and should be required reading for all Junior and Senior High School students.
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