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What Not to Write: An A-to-Z of the Dos and Don'ts of Good English [Hardcover]

Kay Sayce
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Sep 2006
This is a pocket-sized, information-packed and entertaining guide that has been compiled on the basis of long experience in helping people produce documents written in good English, with the underlying message that simple English is the best English. "What not to Write" deals with all those awkward issues - acronyms, ambiguity, American-English, bureaucratese, business English, captions, cliches, grammar, hyphens, jargon, punctuation, quotations, sexist writing, spelling, writing letters and much, much more. Writing English should be a pleasure and although there are rules and conventions, as this book shows, they should be used as a foundation on which to build the confidence to explore the richness and versatility of the language and to put the message across, clearly and simply, in a way that will capture the reader's attention. This handy reference book will be a vital tool for anyone working with the written word, particularly those who write client/company reports, theses, professional papers - students and professionals alike will benefit from having a copy to hand.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Words at Work (1 Sep 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0955279801
  • ISBN-13: 978-0955279805
  • Product Dimensions: 11.6 x 18.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 662,261 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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A useful pocket-sized reference book on writing good English. -- London Broadcasting Corporation (LBC)

Apart from the normal alphabetic entries, there are also boxes giving guidance in specialised areas. Primarily written for business writers, What Not To Write provides an equally good style guide for creative writers. -- Writing Magazine, January 2007

Do read this book from cover to cover; after doing so you'll be left in no doubt as to its usefulness. It is interesting, useful and sensibly laid out, and as with a dictionary, all offices should have access to such a book. -- Manager (British Journal of Administrative Management), January 2007

This easy-to-reference guide is a response to the rise in computer literacy and the seeming demise of literacy au naturale. It leads you by the hand along the road of literary clarification. -- North Magazine, December 2006

This pocket-sized book is peppered with amusing drawings and is ideal for all those moments when you are pondering, for example, on the difference between a colon and a semi-colon. -- North London Times , December 2006

From the Publisher

A must for every business. The best guide you'll find to business English, with invaluable information on written English and English grammar and puncutation.

Rights sold: Indian subcontinent; South-East Asia; Southern Africa

Rights being negotiated: Caribbean; China; East Africa; Japan; West Africa

Representation: Middle East

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars (international) English teacher testimonial! 14 Oct 2010
I teach mostly international students in Asia, and I love this handy little reference book. It is surprisingly thorough for such a thin publication

I enthusiastically recommend that all international schools using English as their primary language should buy a copy for every English teacher on staff.

It does an excellent job of explaining/listing/illustrating the finer points of contemporary standards of style and diction. It is especially thorough in its identification of the plethora of variations between British and North American language, punctuation, and style...(through the relevant context of contemporary international business English). To be honest, it helps me the most when advising native English speakers (English, American, Australian, New Zealanders, Indians, etc.), including older teenaged students and less-knowledgeable colleagues.

Here's a secret: some English teachers don't read as many (non-literary) texts and periodicals as they should. Nor do they easily let go of their favorite English absolutes: you know, those arbitrary rules that were perhaps considered correct 50 years ago, but are meaningless today? This book treats even the most traditional opinions with respect, while explaining the necessity of leaving arbitrary rules behind in favor of clear and effective communication...(e.g., ending a sentence with a preposition, or splitting infinitives).

The bottom line--this book is excellent and easy to use.

English teachers should not be expected to keep up with all the changes to the standards of the new brand of English used more and more in international communication and business. It explains rules/rationales so learning can be based on logic and understanding--rather than rote memorization of lists and vocabulary. It also includes several helpful tools, such as the FOG index calculator.
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5.0 out of 5 stars PERFECT BOOK!!! 15 Jan 2014
I absolutely LOVE this book, it has enhanced my writing to a great extent! DEFINITELY A Must for every desk (as the book states!)
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