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50 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on 17 January 2006
If you like to write accurately, or have often wondered whether laissez-faire takes italics, this is an excellent reference book. It is full of authoritative guidance on fine points of grammar and spelling, eg the difference between Baliol and Balliol, whether "balaclava" takes a capital, or when you can use the word "gotten". The book is nicely produced, a sensible size (not too huge) and makes you feel erudite the minute you pick it up. It's also fun to browse in.
The only drawback is that some points of spelling or grammar I've wanted to check are not in the book. Result: I've found myself using it less than I expected. So, only four stars.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 7 November 2007
As a poor punctuator I love this book because it has finally taught me what I should have been doing all along. It is an essential aid to consistency and I feel my work looks more polished as a result of following its guidelines.

Great!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 16 June 2012
As a professional copy editor and proofreader I find this book indispensable. I use it all the time in my work and find it invaluable in ensuring accuracy and consistency - I wouldn't be without it. It is particularly useful for tricky place names, queries on italicization of foreign words, American/English variants, to hyphenate or not to hyphenate - in other words, the everyday problems that writers, editors and proofreaders have to grapple with.

However, it is as the title says: it is a specialist work for writers and editors, and is a dictionary of words which cause problems/give rise to queries. It is not a comprehensive general dictionary and does not claim to be - if you are looking for a small but compendious dictionary then you should go for one of the Collins or Oxford compact English Language dictionaries.

For help on more complex matters of style, correct conventions for writing, more general typographical matters, etc, then New Hart's Rules: The Handbook of Style for Writers and Editors (Reference) is the best guide - another compact but invaluable guide. With the two of these by my side I rarely fail to find an answer to my queries, and can highly recommend them both.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 27 October 2010
This is an extremely useful work to have on your shelf. Whilst you're writing, you invariably come up against questions as to whether to use 'advertise' or 'advertize'. Do you write 'Tzar' or 'Czar'? 'Gypsy' or 'Gipsy'? You will not find the answer in the dictionary. The answer of course is arbitrary but so long as you have this book to hand, all your work will be consistent which is the main thing. I don't claim that it is infallible. I disagree about the spelling of 'doll's house' for instance, but it's excellent to use as a yardstick for consistency.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 4 October 2012
I thought this a must have for my editing service. Not it isn't. Could've done very well without it. It neither adds to not subtracts from all the other dictionaries I have lying around my house, in fact it's a lot lighter in content. A wide general knowledge will mean you find yourself familiar with a lot of the entries on the dictionaries. I have tried this at random, and not discovered too many new words. Anyway, having got it at a bargain price on Amazon, I can't complain too much. I hope it proves useful one day.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 6 January 2010
I love this book. I've just used it for the first time to help me with a proofreading assignment and it's already proven itself. Easy to use and if you need help checking if words are hyphenated or not, should be in capitals,etc...this is the book to choose.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
As a new writer I was delighted to be directed to a purchase of this book. It is invaluable for guiding you to correct usage of words/ spellings/ hyphenation etc. It is used by editors, proofreaders etc.and is a must-have resource for those embarking on a writing career.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 March 2013
Originally purchased for my Kindle, I swapped it for a paper copy as much easier to use a reference book that way. Great information and guidance for all writers here. Worth the cost.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 July 2014
Not as in depth as I expected. Already come across words which I would have expected to be there but aren't.
Definitely not the Essential A-Z guide!
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on 13 February 2014
Up to date and pretty full, with some interesting appendixes, e.g. on measure words and surnames, also standard forms of correspondence with model letters. A minor nuisance is that the page nos. are printed at the top in the middle of fhe page, which makes them harder to see and decipher. Also I found the Chinese-English bit rather time-consuming to use; I think it would have been better to do as some dictionaries do, number the radicals and refer directly to the numbers rather than the pages on which they appear.
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