Customer Reviews


46 Reviews
5 star:
 (24)
4 star:
 (12)
3 star:
 (4)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:
 (4)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A jolly good read
"Strictly English" by Simon Heffer is a book which attracted me because I struggled at school with English and thus developed a morbid fascination for the instrument of my childhood torture. Right at the outset, I must say that it is not just a reference book, but a jolly good read too. It is divided into sections which deal with the basic rules of our language,...
Published on 20 Jan 2011 by Tuto

versus
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars prescriptive
Sincerely speaking I do not understand how it is possible to consider this book amusing as other reviewers do. It might have several assets but humour is not one of them.

Dr. Heffer is a conservative grammarian and writes accordingly. He sets several rules of good grammar and style giving most of them no more justification than "logic"; sometimes he also quotes...
Published on 7 Dec 2011 by Furio


Most Helpful First | Newest First

29 of 35 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worthy but so dull, 12 Oct 2010
By 
Richard Brock (BATH, Avon United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
If you expected to be amused as well as informed by this book, you should be warned; Heffer is no Lyn Truss. The title is Strictly English and Heffer comes across as a stern school master. I once got into severe trouble for waking my wife up at 1 AM in the morning because I burst out laughing reading Truss's Eats, Shoots and Leaves in bed. Strictly English poses no such dangers; reading it you will be asleep well before your spouse. Heffer's approach to English is Calvinistic, he sees much sin and offers little prospect of delight. If you read his book and managed to finish it you will have learned much. However, most people will give up before the end.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thorough and authoritative, 28 Aug 2012
By 
Doc Barbara "Barbara Daniels" (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This is an excellent book for any student or teacher of English. The author is knowledgeable and has his own views on correct English which he explains lucidly and in an interesting fashion. The major headings and sub-headings are:
Part One - The Rules: the building blocks of English; from clauses to paragraphs; spelling and punctuation
Part Two - bad English: bad grammar; the wrong word; the wrong tone; three sinners
Part Three - good English: the essence of good style; three saints.
The reason I have given it only four stars is that the writing can be quite complex and so it is not always easy to find a particular point in the book. I quote his own style: "Correct grammar - the use of words in their orthodox relation to other words - is not difficult to master." This itself could be expressed more simply, for example. Yet it is a most useful handbook on this controversial subject and well worth buying as an antidote to sloppiness or the view that good grammar does not matter: he convinces you that it does.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars pedant heaven, 19 Oct 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If you care about the written word and are pedantic about grammar and syntax then this is the book for you.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Full of fascinating facts and insights into the English language ..., 15 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Strictly English: The correct way to write ... and why it matters (Paperback)
Full of fascinating facts and insights into the English language. I never realised I was saying so much so wrong.
An enjoyable and interesting read for anyone who loves our English language.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars How it should be writ., 13 Jun 2014
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I've only recently bought this book and dipping into it is quite entertaining. No grammarian myself I love the piece on political correctness and how in trying to remove all traces of differentiation by gender from the language had ended up creating some rather silly names. A female lion? A woman author?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Enlish as it should be written, 26 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Strictly English: The correct way to write ... and why it matters (Paperback)
With the advent of e-mails, texting, etc., too few people know how to write correctly, this book will help those who do not want to lose the art or writing.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Full of useful tips, 5 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Strictly English: The correct way to write ... and why it matters (Paperback)
I found this book to be really helpful in its tips to writers aiming to improve their English - which is basically everyone because there is always room for improvement. This book will certainly help me to write more clearly, economically, concisely and clearly. A great book for making one re-consider those words and stock phrases that have become an automatic fixture of one's vocabulary but which have become hackneyed and worn and dispensable. I recommend this book very highly.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Pedantic but authoritative, 27 April 2014
By 
Clive Turner (Paphos, Cyprus.) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
SimonnHeffer's counsel and guidance is painstaking and beyond criticism. For the perfectionist writer this would be a book not to be without.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable., 31 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Strictly English: The correct way to write ... and why it matters (Paperback)
Sadly, it is difficult to open a newspaper, magazine or book without what once would have been regarded as crass grammatical howlers. Generations have suffered at school through the neglect of rigorous teaching of grammar and the fashionable disregard of the craft of writing. We now have schools filled with English teachers, themselves ill-equipped to teach children how to write simply, clearly and accurately. It is not just that we have to tolerate the horrors of "bored of", "different than" and the like, we are losing important sections of our vocabulary. "Uninterested" and "disinterested" are used interchangeably. "Aggravate" has all but lost its true meaning and so on. Yes, our language is ever shifting and evolving as it always has, but when cliche and jargon - see descriptions of English examination syllabuses! - dominate expression, we are not only losing clarity in writing but also clarity of thought.

Simon Heffer's book is elegantly written, entertaining and important. Despite the comments of another reviewer I have no doubts that Orwell would have wholeheartedly approved. I hope that its sentiments are reaching a wide and sympathetic audience.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars My friendly little helper on the shelf, 10 Mar 2014
This review is from: Strictly English: The correct way to write ... and why it matters (Paperback)
I've got Fowler's and the Economist Style Guide on the shelf, as well as Chambers' English Dictionary and Compact Thesaurus, but it is to Simon Heffers's offering that I most frequently turn. I enjoy using it, and I suppose it reinforces my own prejudices to some extent. The trouble is, that when I want to check up on something specific (and the indispensable index helps here), I tend to read on rather than getting back to the work in hand, because it's a 'good read' as well as being a useful guide. Although I've spent a lifetime as a civil servant, working the area of science, I confess to never having referred to or owned a copy of Gowers's 'Plain Words' so I don't know what I've missed there. But I find that Heffer meets all current requirements as I continue my largely factual writing and reporting in semi-retirement. My paperback edition is now not inconsiderably (watch it!) dog-eared and it would have been nice to have had a good case-bound edition that could have better stood up to continual use.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Strictly English: The correct way to write ... and why it matters
6.29
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews