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The King's English Paperback – 1 Jun 2002

3.0 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 3rd with new introduction edition (Jun. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198605072
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198605072
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 2 x 12.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,924,098 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product description

About the Author

Henry Watson Fowler (1858-1933) and Frank (Francis) George Fowler (1870-1918) were translators, lexicographers, and grammarians. Together they compiled the first edition of the Concise Oxford Dictionary (published 1911) and the Pocket Oxford Dictionary (published in 1924, after Franks' death). Henry Fowler is also the author of Modern English Usage (planned by the two brothers but executed by Henry alone), and the name Fowler has become synonymous with reliable and accurate reference on all aspects of written English.

Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The King's English is full of excellent advice on correct English usage. Sparkling with the Fowlers' uniquely dry humour, the book differs from many English usage guides in that it is divided into sections about very broad topics organised thematically, rather than being an alphabetical listing of short "snippets" of advice.
If you want to improve your style and grammar, I would recommend The King's English very highly. My only reservation would be that for those of us brought up in the comprehensive school system, where grammar is almost a "no-go area", some of the technical terms used can make the book hard reading in places.
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Format: Paperback
I shall start with the most important part of the review:
If you were to take my well-intentioned advice, you would not buy this book or any other from the 'Classic Reprint Series'.

Although not actually explained anywhere on this page, the would-be customer really ought to know that these editions are, put simply, photocopies of almost incredibly low-quality. The book itself claims to be 'remastered' (with no further explanation as to quite what that entailed), yet the result of this occult process remains a sporadically blurred, misaligned, faded and flawed text.

A few years ago, I had in my possession a 'pirate' copy of a Noam Chomsky book bought from a makeshift stall in Cambodia for around $3 [US]; I may have later traded it for some fruit, although I don't clearly recall. Anyway, it may amuse the reader to learn that this tatty-specimen, bought from a man who could scarcely read most of the words he had patiently copied page-by-page, was actually clearer and easier on the eye than that now languishing discarded on my coffee table. I should be more than happy were someone to offer me fruit in exchange for this ersatz scrap of ugliness.

Favourite faults include (but are not limited to!):
- a scored text-block due to bad cutting.
- a halo of grey dots around each and every letter: time to change the cartridge, chaps.
- the fact that this is a photocopy of the second edition - not the 'original text'.
- the fact that a University of Los Angeles library sticker has been reproduced at the end (admirable attention to detail and all that...).

But, best of all, is the caveat all these books bear:

"Forgotten Books takes the uppermost care to preserve the entire content of the original book.
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Format: Paperback
Just taught a medical writing skills course in the USA and used many quotes from this book. The diatribe against the incursion of Americanisms into English was particularly interesting, especially as it dated from the early 1900s. It's a bit dated in style, but makes many useful points about how to write good English.
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Format: Hardcover
In this classic reference book the Fowler brothers illustrate by example all the blunders of English usage that are commonly made, and guide the reader to improved expression and style.
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