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The Oxford Style Manual Hardcover – 10 Apr 2003


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 1056 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (10 April 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198605641
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198605645
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 5.3 x 15 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 377,782 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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

Review

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

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By JR on 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mal Veitch on 20 Dec. 2010
Format: Hardcover
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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54 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Matt Horton on 15 Dec. 2004
Format: Hardcover
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 By Rachel Stockley on 15 Mar. 2009
Format: Hardcover
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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