Buy Used
£1.78
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by the book house
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: This item will be picked, packed and shipped by Amazon and is eligible for free delivery within the UK
Add to Basket
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Complete Plain Words (HMSO Hardback) Hardcover – 1 Dec 1986


Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£68.96 £0.01
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Product details

  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • Publisher: H.M.S.O.; 3rd Rev Ed Hardcover edition (Dec 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0117011215
  • ISBN-13: 978-0117011212
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 13.5 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 243,515 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
15
4 star
6
3 star
0
2 star
1
1 star
0
See all 22 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

84 of 86 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 30 Jan 2002
Format: Paperback
This is a classic book. The first sentence of the Prologue says "the main purpose of this book is to help officials in their use of written English as a tool of their trade". I think that this book should be required reading for all officials, bureaucrats, managers and other professional people who have to write in English as part of their work.
I particularly like the many examples throughout the book of poor writing followed by the improved versions suggested by the author. The meaning of the improved versions is crystal clear in comparison with the original versions! And the improved versions are much easier to read.
There is a checklist of words and phrases to be used with care. It occupies 70 pages of the book and contains a few hundred words and phrases. Many of the words listed have their own proper function, but they are often used by unwary or careless writers in place of a simpler or more apt word. It is well worth reading through the author's comments and recommendations for each entry.
This is a book that I have read and re-read, and I now try to practice what Gowers preaches.
3 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Ms. A. Aspin on 19 Jun 2006
Format: Paperback
I first read this book cover-to-cover, like a novel. It is interesting, easy to read and entertaining. It also covers a LOT of ground without being complicated or long-winded.

I bought this book in the late 90s and I still refer to it regularly. It's a fantastic little reference book. It explains things very clearly, and the examples it uses are very helpful indeed.

Its index is great; you can find what you're looking for very quickly.

It's refreshing to read a book about English usage which reflects our times and stresses the importance of clarity and elegance over blind adherence to Latin-based rules (e.g. it takes a sensible and pragmatic approach to the splitting of infinitives and to sentences ending with prepositions), but which at the same time doesn't do any "dumbing down" - everything it recommends is firmly rooted in good grammar and educated, clear use of the language.

This book was first published 52 years ago, but it has been updated to keep it current. In my opinion it is the best book you can buy if you want a clear, concise, sensible guide to writing well.

Oh - and the section on verbo-pomposity is a hoot!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
41 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Steve Burrow VINE VOICE on 5 May 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The premise of this book is that writing is a tool that should enable communication and minimize misunderstandings, not a tool with which to show-off learning. This premise shines out in every chapter as the author deals with: choosing the correct word, avoiding superfluous words, arranging words well, and punctuating clearly.
This is not a strict grammar with definitive statements on the split infinitive or the use of hyphens, it is a council of commonsense, filled with examples of poor English (often very funny ones), and suggestions for how they should be improved.. The result is a fantastic and valuable guide to how to write better.
I learnt a lot from this book and enjoyed reading it cover to cover. It also has an excellent index making it a useful reference work. Now all I have to do is learn how to put these great lessons into practise.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Graham J. Goulding on 8 April 2010
Format: Paperback
I have known of The Complete Plain Words since the mid 1950's and have my 1973 copy on my desk at all times. I bought this latest copy for my granddaughter, just ahout to go up to university. I find it an invaluable aid when writing reports or even just letters: it sorts out those tricky sentences which do not seem quite right and mostly gives the answer to those bits of grammar which one is not quite certain about. Everyone should have one!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
29 of 33 people found the following review helpful By lexo1941 on 30 May 2008
Format: Paperback
First of all: if you are someone who hasn't read a lot of books about the English language, but you have to do a fair amount of writing in your daily life and you feel that you need help with grammar and punctuation, this book is probably not for you.

Gowers' original book was written in the late 1940s and early 1950s, mainly for use by civil servants who were already highly educated but who needed reminding that they were supposed to be servants of the public, not masters. Gowers' advice is mostly about cleaning up bad and pretentious English, not about basic points of style and usage for people who just don't know how to put a sentence together. If you want a useful book which will tell you things like where to put the full stop in a sentence that ends with a quote, then you need a good style guide. The best one for my money is the Oxford University Press 'New Hart's Rules', an excellent handbook of guidelines on basic usage, clarity and good plain style. Alternatively, you could get Fowler's 'Modern English Usage' but the current edition of it (edited by Robert Burchfield) is somewhat controversial, and previous editions, though fascinating, are a bit out of date. 'New Hart's Rules' covers the same ground but is shorter and more handy for everyday use.

'The Complete Plain Words' is a different sort of book from any of the above, and is really intended for people who already think they know how to write. It's extremely good at clearing up common confusions in the minds of educated people, such as the distinctions between 'abrogate' and 'arrogate', or 'comprise' and 'compose' (or, for that matter, the specific difference between 'comprise' and 'include'.) If this is not the kind of thing you are looking for, then you probably need 'New Hart's Rules' or Fowler.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Product Images from Customers

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search

Look for similar items by category


Feedback