The Economist Style Guide Hardcover – 8 Sep 2005
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'The gold standard'
-- Independent on Sunday
About the Author
The Economist is one of the world's most notable magazines. Circulation in the United States and Canada is now more than 700,000 weekly.
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Top Customer Reviews
Excellent for pointing out fuzzy thinking in your writing and for exposing the emptiness of certain cliches.
Perfect for journalistic purposes; less exhaustive for academic writing or other formal writing.
Beware: many of the recommendations are Economist house style and are not standard British English (e.g. small capitals for all abbreviations).
You will need Oxford: New Hart's Rules (now contained in the Oxford Style Manual) for a full examination of the punctuation of quotations, since the Guide applies journalistic conventions, in which the standard rules of British English puncutation are often reversed.
If you are reading this review, then I hope you know what a Style Guide is. The Economist has gained a reputation for clear communication, and the Style Guide is part of that.
I'm not a journalist, but writing about financial matters is something I need to do as part of my professional life. Having a single reference that can answer questions like "on-line or online" for me has been very useful.
This is not a book that seeks to debate on the merits of different styles of written prose, but lays out, clearly, the style recommended for those writing for one publication.
The Economist's style isn't always appropriate - in organisations that prefer a "conversational marketing" approach, a more discursive style may be appropriate. However, having a consistent set of ground rules can be useful.
Oh, and the Style Guide not only explains what ground rules are, confirming that my usage was correct, but prevented me from just hyphenating the term in this review.
It is perhaps unfair, though, to criticise this book for being too much of a good thing. It purports to be the actual style guide used by The Economist's journalists, and I am sure that that is just what it was (but that the current version is a little longer again). It is particularly good on he differences between American and British English, and how one can find words and expressions that are unobjectionable in both. It is humorously written - although if you want a more humorous differentiation of words you might try that redoubtable (Anglo-?)American Bill Bryson's "Troublesome Words". (Mr Bryson has however given the book a generous commendation, quoted on its back cover.) It is an excellent reference source - although if that is what you are after some of The Economist's other publications will give you much more of the same.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An excelent resource. Every home should have this book. Ideal if any member of the family is writing an essay report or dissertationPublished 17 months ago by Kim
What can I say? The bible for those of us who want to write English proper, innit. Highly recommended for everyonePublished on 5 Feb. 2014 by Doris Lessing
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