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The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century Hardcover – 4 Sep 2014

4.2 out of 5 stars 89 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 4 Sep 2014
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Allen Lane; Reprint edition (4 Sept. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846145503
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846145506
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.3 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 89 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 54,350 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

Steven Pinker's The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century might be regarded as an update of Fowler, eschewing pedantry, convoluted or pompous sentence construction, cliché, and inflexible grammatical rules. Pinker is every bit as witty as Fowler, and writes in a similarly vigorous, direct and idiosyncratic manner. His book is accordingly much less boring than one might expect of a style manual. Indeed, it is often laugh-out-loud funny... Pinker knows that simplicity is more difficult to perfect than abstruse convolution. It helps enormously that he is such a beautiful stylist himself. Many of his sentences give great pleasure and he is never lofty or pleased with himself (Paula Byrne The Times)

Gentle humour accompanies Mr Pinker's good sense throughout the book, an antidote to bestselling, operatically irate usage guides that disparage those who disagree as idiots or barbarians. Mr Pinker explains eloquently not just what to do, but also why (Economist)

An outstanding source of wise advice (Times Oliver Kamm)

A thoughtful guide, tough-minded and up to date, for people who think they can write well but are willing to believe that they could write better (Henry Hitchings Guardian)

A canny and punchy polemic (Stevie Davies Independent)

From the Inside Flap

What is the secret of good prose? Does writing well even matter in an age of instant communication? Should we care? In this funny, thoughtful book about the modern art of writing, Steven Pinker shows us why we all need a sense of style.

More than ever before, the currency of our social and cultural lives is the written word, from Twitter and texting to blogs, e-readers and old-fashioned books. But most style guides fail to prepare people for the challenges of writing in the 21st century, portraying it as a minefield of grievous errors rather than a form of pleasurable mastery. They fail to deal with an inescapable fact about language: it changes over time, adapted by millions of writers and speakers to their needs. Confusing changes in the world with moral decline, every generation believes the kids today are degrading society and taking language with it. A guide for the new millennium, writes Steven Pinker, has to be different.

Drawing on the latest research in linguistics and cognitive science, Steven Pinker replaces the recycled dogma of previous style guides with reason and evidence. This thinking person's guide to good writing shows why style still matters: in communicating effectively, in enhancing the spread of ideas, in earning a reader's trust and, not least, in adding beauty to the world. Eye-opening, mind-expanding and cheerful, The Sense of Style shows that good style is part of what it means to be human. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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