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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly informative and also very entertaining, 9 Oct. 2007
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Marcus Williamson (Thailand) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Grammar and Style: For Examination Candidates and Others (Paperback)
Michael Dummett is an Oxford philosopher of logic and language. He is, in my opinion, the best of the Anglo-American philosophers in the second half of the last century. So when you are reading this book, you know that this is not just the scribblings of a pedantic writer or journalist. This is the product of one of the finest minds that Britain has produced in recent times, and of a man who has devoted significant amounts of his long life to studying how languages work.

In some respects, Dummett covers the same ground that other writers on style do. He defines the main grammatical categories, gives some stylistic guidelines, and gives the correct meaning of many misused words. What distinguishes Dummett's treatment is the fact that he is rigorous, and also very amusing. His rigour manifests itself in the way that he carefully develops and tests definitions of grammatical phrases and rules. His amusingness manifests in his scorn for those pretending to be able to write well and clearly, and for some American usages of English. In one place, he describes the displacement of the English sense of 'billion' (meaning one million million) by the American sense (meaning one thousand billion) as 'a minor piece of cultural rape'.

This is one of few reference books that I return to regularly, and still read for pleasure.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tremendously useful, and amusing!, 9 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: Grammar and Style: For Examination Candidates and Others (Paperback)
You'll find a vast amount of useful grammatical and syntactic information here, in a mostly clear and accessible format. The majority should be merely reminders to those who love the English language of nuggets they already knew, but there is still a substantial amount that will have you saying to yourself "well, I never... !"

Regarding Mr Dummett's style, I am not sure he meant to tickle one's funny bone but he did so nevertheless. He also takes us to the nub of the matter, all the while with a faint air of melancholy that we have arrived at our present state of linguistic ignorance. No blame is specifically attached - but I suspect he holds government at least partly responsible, and I have to say that I would agree with him. In many ways this little book is a gem.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a must or serious people, 30 Nov. 2012
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This review is from: Grammar and Style: For Examination Candidates and Others (Paperback)
This is a concise and clear work. I am only a beginner but this has really enlightened. A must buy
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential knowledge for the writer (and speaker) of English, 6 Nov. 2013
This review is from: Grammar and Style: For Examination Candidates and Others (Paperback)
I bought Michael Dummett's book when first it arrived in the shops, 20 years ago. I have it still and refer to it as my authority on many of the necessary elements of a healthy language. Its contents would be a sound foundation for university; indeed I think that that was the author's intention in writing it.

Finally, it's not a large book: it is a good read, slim and portable.
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Grammar and Style: For Examination Candidates and Others
Grammar and Style: For Examination Candidates and Others by Michael Dummett (Paperback - Jun. 1993)
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