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Usage and Abusage: A Guide to Good English (Penguin Reference Books) [Paperback]

Eric Partridge
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
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Book Description

5 Aug 1999 Penguin Reference Books
Usage and Abusage takes a long, hard look at the use - and constant misuse - of English. Declaring war on bad grammar, woolliness of expression and poor choice of vocabulary, this essential guide sets out both to highlight problems and pitfalls and to offer constructive advice on the proper use of English.

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Usage and Abusage: A Guide to Good English (Penguin Reference Books) + The Complete Plain Words + The Penguin Guide to Punctuation (Penguin Reference Books)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; 3Rev Ed edition (5 Aug 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140514422
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140514421
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 12.7 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 146,502 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'A classic' -- Sunday Telegraph

'A handy linguistic reference book and provocative commentary on the present state of English writing'
-- Daily Mail

About the Author

Eric Partridge was one of the leading commentators on the English language before he died in 1979. Janet Whitcut was Senior Research Editor of the Longman Dictionary and Reference Book Unit and is now a freelance writer. She is the co-author of The Longman Guide to English Usage and The Little Oxford Guide to English Usage.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Partridge's Guide 1 Oct 2011
Unable to find the Book Club Associates hardcover edition which I have, I am writing this under the Penguin edition in the hope that it might find its way there eventually.

Written in 1942, it is exactly what it says on the cover "A Guide to Good English"; it was written to supplement H.W. Fowler's "Modern English Usage" which set the standard for others to follow.

Organised in alphabetical order, it contains a wealth of information, advice and suggestions to improve English usage. As one reviewer suggests, it may seem out-dated to many modern readers but that does not mean it is outmoded. There are obviously aspects of English which have changed over the years since its publication but it continues to set a standard for accurate and aesthetic uses of English. It is obviously a reference book rather than one to sit down and read but the latter approach pays dividends on occasions for students and others required to use English accurately.

A blast from the past? Perhaps but interesting nevertheless.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Whilst the content may be great, what is the point if you can't read all the pages because you have failed to bind the book correctly, guillotine so that some pages are still joined; and send out to retailers without any form of quality control. Come on Penguin, we expect better.
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102 of 125 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A useful, accurate view of English Syntax 29 Sep 2000
By A Customer
This fine tome is a must for anyone who cares about the state of English Language. Yet, despite laudable intentions indeed, the standard (for example, where does the apostrophe go when referring to Xerses' army?)is now almost laughably high!
All of this is not to undervalue the power and use of such a book, and there is a good sense of humour in every entry:
"Gent, 'a gentleman', is an illiteracy except when it applies to such a man as might be expected to use the word."
I would thoroughly recommend this book and propose that readers dip into it frequently. They will be educated, amused and delighted.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor quality 3 Oct 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very disappointed with the quality of paper used in this paperback, but even more so the font size is too small for comfortable reading. To say I am disappointed is an understatement.
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