For me, this book could have been called the `very' Good Word Guide as it is indeed a gem of a guide. This updated edition takes into account the speed at which the English language is changing, and also offers guidance on spelling, pronunciation and grammar; there are also tables on Americanisms, foreign words and phrases, misspellings, verbs (irregular verbs), writing tips and much, much more.
I found this word guide essential when looking for synonyms when trying to understand the nuances when using different words, for example, could I use `flaunt' instead of repeating the word 'flout'? Could `salaries' be substituted for `wages' (incidentally, would you substitute something for or substitute something with?)? Do I use the spelling `rateable' or `ratable' - does it matter? Can I use `raise' and `rise' in the same context - can both verbs be used intransitively? The answer to these questions are so easily accessible in this guide, so you can imagine how well thumbed my copy is.
As well as a formidable, instructive and informative guide, this book is also very entertaining; you can open the book at any page and be entertained, after taking the packaging off the book I opened it at `g...', started reading the entries for `gobbledygook' and `gobsmacked' and found myself reading on for a further 45mins. When encountering a problem with words or wording, the Good Word Guide is one of the first sources I turn to, as I said earlier, it should really be called the `very good word guide.
For anyone interested in words, studying, writing (anything), it's always good to have the right tools; a good dictionary, thesaurus and I would add to this the Good Word Guide.