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The King's English Paperback – 13 Sep 1973

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks; 3rd Revised edition edition (13 Sept. 1973)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198813309
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198813309
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.2 x 19.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 694,572 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

Henry Watson Fowler (1858-1933) and Frank (Francis) George Fowler (1870-1918) were translators, lexicographers, and grammarians. Together they compiled the first edition of the Concise Oxford Dictionary (published 1911) and the Pocket Oxford Dictionary (published in 1924, after Franks' death). Henry Fowler is also the author of Modern English Usage (planned by the two brothers but executed by Henry alone), and the name Fowler has become synonymous with reliable and accurate reference on all aspects of written English. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Dr. A. Clark on 31 July 2004
Format: Paperback
The King's English is full of excellent advice on correct English usage. Sparkling with the Fowlers' uniquely dry humour, the book differs from many English usage guides in that it is divided into sections about very broad topics organised thematically, rather than being an alphabetical listing of short "snippets" of advice.
If you want to improve your style and grammar, I would recommend The King's English very highly. My only reservation would be that for those of us brought up in the comprehensive school system, where grammar is almost a "no-go area", some of the technical terms used can make the book hard reading in places.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gingerbear on 19 Feb. 2009
Format: Paperback
Just taught a medical writing skills course in the USA and used many quotes from this book. The diatribe against the incursion of Americanisms into English was particularly interesting, especially as it dated from the early 1900s. It's a bit dated in style, but makes many useful points about how to write good English.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Javaslublu Books on 8 Sept. 2008
Format: Hardcover
In this classic reference book the Fowler brothers illustrate by example all the blunders of English usage that are commonly made, and guide the reader to improved expression and style.
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Format: Paperback
This is a long review. Please read through to the end. At the time of writing, Amazon wants to know if the reviews are for ‘verified purchases’. I shall make references to the 2003 BCA re-print to show I have actually read this book. Short version: read the last three paragraphs.

I have a 2:1 degree in English. It is very true that we didn’t study the difference between a gerund and a participle used as such, nor a gerund without the subject being expressed, nor when a gerund with a preposition is to be preferred to an infinitive. What we did study was how to convey emotion and concept through text, socio-linguistics (accent, dialect, etc), phonetics (the mechanics of physical speech). I still have an interest in how the English language is written and spoken, give a damn when it isn’t, and wish people would care more.

I don’t know what is taught in schools these days, but it doesn’t seem to include “properly” or caring about what you’re doing to / for / with others. The evidence is in how many people contributing comments in web-sites can’t tell the difference between “their” and “there”, “hear” and “here”, or “who’s” and “whose”, or “it’s” and “its”. Some even think “ its’ ” is a word ! And as for apostrophes, either scattered in a sneezing or completely absent, ditto capitals, and ditto punctuation.

The ability to speak clearly and articulately is an important part of making oneself understood. Grammar isn’t the randomly applied, anachronistic ruling of a bunch of rules-Nazi pedants with nothing better to do, but how we remove confusion, or deliberately introduce it should we need vagueness.

The quality of written and spoken English in Great Britain today is appalling. Some people do care - thank you !
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Leonard on 31 Dec. 2009
Format: Hardcover
Queen's English at it's best. And if you think the language has moved on, then an excellent example of 'understatement'
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