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The Oxford Style Manual [Hardcover]

Robert Ritter
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

10 April 2003 0198605641 978-0198605645
Throughout the twentieth century, The Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors and Hart's Rules grew to be indispensable sources for all those who deal with the written word. Now, for the first time, The Oxford Style Manual combines in one volume these two classic reference books in their latest forms: the second edition of The Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors, and The Oxford Guide to Style - the new Hart's Rules. Together they offer unrivalled guidance on words and how to treat them. The first part of The Oxford Style Manual contains 16 topic-based chapters of help on every aspect of words in print. The text is full of explanations, examples, and lists for quick reference: abbreviations, capitalization, punctuation, scientific and mathematical symbols are all covered in full. It gives clear advice on how to treat quotations, illustrations, tables, notes and references, specialist subjects, and indexes, as well as exhaustive information on foreign languages. There is also information on recent issues such as citing electronic media, submitting material for online publication, and current copyright law. The second part of the Manual consists of short alphabetical entries that provide easy-to-follow guidance on specific writing conundrums, including common spelling difficulties (hairdryer or hairdrier?); queries on hyphenation and punctuation (brothers-in-law or brother-in-laws?); confusables (impassible or impassable?); differences between British and American English (pyjamas/pajamas); and difficult or unusual terms. The Oxford Style Manual really is the ultimate guide for all book, magazine, and Internet publishers on preparing and presenting the written word.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 1056 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (10 April 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198605641
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198605645
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 15.2 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 347,162 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Amazon Review

The Oxford Style Manual is gloriously thorough double whammy of a book that unites the famous Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors and the Oxford Guide to Style (once known as Hart's Rules) for the first time.

If you don't know the en or em rules or how to use your solidus or vertical (aka--a standard abbreviation which needs no punctuation--as a forward slash) then this is your chance to find out. And what happens when you need to write a foreign word--perhaps Polish, Urdu or Icelandic--but you don't know what the accents are called, let alone where to find them on your computer? Oxford Style Manual is strong on diacritics-- signs and symbols on, or near, letters. There's helpful advice about foreign names too: "To call Calais callis would be obscurantist, to call Munich Munchen exhibitionist".

The vexed laws, conventions and effects of copyright and the stylistic mysteries of special subjects from music to Jewish scriptures are all meticulously detailed in Oxford Style Manual's first sixteen chapters. The second half is an alphabetical listing: eccentric dictionary cum mini-encyclopaedia crossed with an authoritative account of written dos and don'ts (neither of which needs an apostrophe). Thus you learn that a diglot is a book containing text in two languages, a bequerel is a unit of radioactivity and school-leaving age needs a hyphen whereas sleeping bag does not.

It's a dream book for wordoholics and pedants to browse in and a valuable useful reference work for those who just want to get things right whether they work in the print media or not.--Susan Elkin


"This fine guidebook is an excellent choice....Highly recommended."--Library Journal

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but could be slightly improved 26 Feb 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The material covered is, without doubt, extensive. The main problem I have is FINDING the bit I'm looking for. I have found myself working through the sections, typing up a comprehensive table of contents for each section - something I would have expected already from a book that is meant to help me make material useful. The lack of adequate table of contents is the reason for the missing star in my rating.

Apart from that, I have found both parts of the book very useful (even if I don't agree with using Z all over the place for -ise/-ize words!) and refer to it daily -- using my own table of contents, of course.

The book is particularly useful for writers and editors who are looking to answer a specific question, but I don't think it is as helpful for someone who does not write for a living and therefore doesn't know what question to ask. The order of sections doesn't guide a user in their search to find an elegant style so definitely a book for an expert rather than a novice. Not to worry, I'm using my OSM to help me create an idiot's guide to house style (now does that have a hyphen or not?)
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54 of 59 people found the following review helpful
Speaking as a person who's currently studying towards an English GCSE I'd just like to say that this book has been invaluable. It offers help on how to use all forms of punctuation - from the basic (full stops) to obscure (did you know the difference between the en rule and em rule?).
It's important to note though that this book isn't a self-help english guide but a reference tool. Writing an essay and you need to know the correct way to quote sources or cite references? Then this book can help. It even has basic guides to other languages - from African Languages to Welsh. These guides have information on, for example, what alphabet they use (with examples if it's a non-roman alphabet) and how to pronounce certain characters.
It also has a particulary helpful section on American English, with a sizeable conversion chart showing what American words mean in 'normal' English (about-face = about-turn, alligator clip = crocoldile clip, antenna [radio, TV] = aerial).
Personally, I don't use the included 'Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors', though I'm neither a writer or an editor so this is hardly surprising. The dictionary contains, among other things, abbreviations and foreign words but not definitions.
This book has earned a place on my desk where it is always within easy reach, and except my dictionary, is probably my most used book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars For a manual, it's not so manual. 20 Dec 2010
The NSOED definition of "manual" in this context is a small book for "handy use". It's a pity OUP didn't pay heed to its own respected publication's definition. As other reviewers have pointed out, the OSM has a great wealth of advice that is difficult to find when you need it. When I'm working, I find myself relying more on the chance-find of authoritative-looking advice on the net, rather than wasting time finding either no index reference in the OSM, or just some related reference which has me thumbing through and scanning page after page, often with negative results. It's supposed to be for writers on the job, so I expected a quick-reference book. It's not. And the dictionary part is not what you could call comprehensive. So, as far as indexing goes, it's a disappointing offering in an age when the printed reference book needs to compete with the fast-improving reference facilities provided by internet search engines.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent guide and well worth the money 15 Mar 2009
Easy to understand and extremely comprehensive. The only slight downfall is the index which is very detailed but still omits certain references meaning that it is sometimes hard to find exactly what is needed. An example of this is when looking for information on the style to be used for job titles; this can be found in the "Capitalization" section but there is no clear reference to professional titles/job titles in the index.
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