15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Deceptively good with a lasting impact,
This review is from: Troublesome Words (Paperback)
Okay I'll admit I'm not someone who tends to read dictionaries from cover to cover but I do like Bill Bryson books, especially the way he manages to present little facts you didn't know but find yourself pleased that you can subsequently recall in pub conversations. In Troublesome Words Bryson goes through the dictionary from A to Z (followed by a bit on punctuation) and highlights particular words which people tend to get wrong... perhaps it's the context they're used in or maybe the spelling. For me, the best part of the book was Bryson highlighting words which are literally superfluous (like literally just there!) in the way they are used. The example of "literally" was particularly amusing: Bryson points out if it's literal then it doesn't need to be there but actually it's generally the complete opposite.
From a practical perspective I found I've already tried to put his guidance into practice (I'm sure Bryson would have a field day with what I've written here) and even though some of the comments are perhaps overly critical it's a good read.