Michael Dummett is an Oxford philosopher of logic and language. He is, in my opinion, the best of the Anglo-American philosophers in the second half of the last century. So when you are reading this book, you know that this is not just the scribblings of a pedantic writer or journalist. This is the product of one of the finest minds that Britain has produced in recent times, and of a man who has devoted significant amounts of his long life to studying how languages work.
In some respects, Dummett covers the same ground that other writers on style do. He defines the main grammatical categories, gives some stylistic guidelines, and gives the correct meaning of many misused words. What distinguishes Dummett's treatment is the fact that he is rigorous, and also very amusing. His rigour manifests itself in the way that he carefully develops and tests definitions of grammatical phrases and rules. His amusingness manifests in his scorn for those pretending to be able to write well and clearly, and for some American usages of English. In one place, he describes the displacement of the English sense of 'billion' (meaning one million million) by the American sense (meaning one thousand billion) as 'a minor piece of cultural rape'.
This is one of few reference books that I return to regularly, and still read for pleasure.