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Pocket Fowler's Modern English Usage Hardcover – Oct 1999


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 634 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (Oct. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198662378
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198662372
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 18.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 708,838 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Britain's most authoritative guide to English. Robin Young, The Times --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Robert Allen was a Senior Editor on the OED until 1982, and Editor of the Concise Oxford Dictionary until 1990. He now works as a freelance writer and editor. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
a, an, called the indefinite article (or, by some grammarians, determiner). Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth OB on 31 Aug. 2009
Format: Paperback
If you cannot afford to go to Oxford, then carry Oxford in your pocket. This is the new edition of a trusted volume I have kept by my desk all my life. The original Fowler and Gowers versions of the book still hold their own when it comes to telling the difference between words ending in ible and able and coping with split infinitives. But this new version cuts through the complications of jargon and pc words that have infiltrated the language in recent years. I still keep the old inky blue hardback closest at hand, but the new book acts as a back up when dealing with new words and phrases.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By R. F. Stevens HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 3 Jun. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This simple book has an A-Z listing of all the trip-hazards commonly found in the English language. If you want to solve the uncommon ones then you might need to ask its bigger brother - Fowler's 'Dictionary of Modern English Usage.'

Everything one might require is listed; for example, if you want to know when to use a hyphen, or a short dash, or a long dash, Fowler will tell you. The information does not have to be so esoteric; for example, the differences between further and farther, or between defuse and diffuse, are explained clearly and succinctly.

Should you wish to write correct English, be it in a book or an essay, an Amazon review or just an email, keep Fowler within easy reach for peace of mind.

My only quibble is with the use of the word 'Pocket' in the description of this volume. I do not have any pockets big enough to accommodate it!

The excellent 'The Elements of Style' by Strunk and White is a pocket book, but modestly does not claim to be so.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Gary Busby on 7 July 2009
Format: Hardcover
There are several versions of the honourable Fowler's tome that aims to sort out our many common errors and misunderstandings in the correct use of the English language. Some are "antique" editions where the charm lies in some quaint editorial views on the use of certain words, many of those being modernisms that now don't seem so modern. The latest Fowler editions have taken on a new direction and have strayed rather far from Mr.Fowler's own intent. This edition falls pretty well into the middle ground - updated enough to be entirely relevant, but not so as to have become a different product. The length and coverage are about right, the physical hardcover edition is robust and well-dimensioned, and it has gained a place as one of the most frequently consulted books in my household.
In short, an excellent book as enjoyable as it is edifying.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Miseri57 on 26 April 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a real fruitcake of a reference, packed with advice on modern English usage straight form the superanbundent British National Corpus. Within minutes of receiving the book, I found myself consulting its copious references; I now keep it by my side all the time.

An excellent source of modern usage: wouldn't dream of being without it now. Recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mister Neil on 3 May 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book does contain a reference to the word 'pocket', but unfortunately the description isn't 'a massive pouch of material that you can store books like this in'. Although, to be fair, it isn't called 'Shirt pocket Fowler's Modern Usage', so I suppose as long as you can find a garment with a pocket big enough, then you're good. I imagine that garment to be a large wax hunting jacket.

Strunk and White, by comparison, fits into the inside pocket of my blazer (albeit with the top sticking out a lot). Which is great if you like combining sartorial elegance with quick access to an American English style guide. And if you're wearing my blazer.

Fowler's is good though, isn't it? It's definitive. Well, apart from the bit about serial commas that everyone argues about. But even that's surprisingly accommodating of the other options.

I suppose my only quibble other than the name is that it's in A-Z format, and the search system is surprisingly slow. So instead of typing the word in, you have to physically move paper with your thumbs until you find what you're looking for. What I'm saying is that a digital version would be nice.

Other than that it's great, and if you're a writer or editor working in British English, or just someone with a wax hunting jacket who longs to put one of its pockets to use, then you should buy it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Counsell on 7 April 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When it was first written, 'Fowler' was the essential first reference guide to English grammar, spelling, and idiom; it was realistic, not pedantic. Anyone who set out to write a document or a book needed to be thoroughly familiar with its guidance to avoid making errors which would render their work harder to understand. But language is a living, changing thing, and this modern update will bring that resource to answer the questions of many modern writers.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is for anyone who wants to inprove their knowledge of the English language and English literature.

This book is easy to read and follow. It's not over-bearing.

It also explains the differences in American English and British English.

The other versions I have of Fowlers are a bit much to read and understand but not this one.

I highly rate this version of Fowlers - forget the latest one!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have owned a copy of this Work from when I first entered journalism 50 years ago. All through my writing career Fowler's Modern English Usage has been by my side - a trusted and faithful friend. I bought this copy for my granddaughter who also has developed a love of English and the written word and I trust she, too, will discover the delights and support of owning a copy of Fowler's Modern English Usage - just as I have.
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