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What Not to Write: An A-to-Z of the Dos and Don'ts of Good English
What Not to Write: An A-to-Z of the Dos and Don'ts of Good English
by Kay Sayce
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars (international) English teacher testimonial!, 14 Oct. 2010
I teach mostly international students in Asia, and I love this handy little reference book. It is surprisingly thorough for such a thin publication

I enthusiastically recommend that all international schools using English as their primary language should buy a copy for every English teacher on staff.

It does an excellent job of explaining/listing/illustrating the finer points of contemporary standards of style and diction. It is especially thorough in its identification of the plethora of variations between British and North American language, punctuation, and style...(through the relevant context of contemporary international business English). To be honest, it helps me the most when advising native English speakers (English, American, Australian, New Zealanders, Indians, etc.), including older teenaged students and less-knowledgeable colleagues.

Here's a secret: some English teachers don't read as many (non-literary) texts and periodicals as they should. Nor do they easily let go of their favorite English absolutes: you know, those arbitrary rules that were perhaps considered correct 50 years ago, but are meaningless today? This book treats even the most traditional opinions with respect, while explaining the necessity of leaving arbitrary rules behind in favor of clear and effective communication...(e.g., ending a sentence with a preposition, or splitting infinitives).

The bottom line--this book is excellent and easy to use.

English teachers should not be expected to keep up with all the changes to the standards of the new brand of English used more and more in international communication and business. It explains rules/rationales so learning can be based on logic and understanding--rather than rote memorization of lists and vocabulary. It also includes several helpful tools, such as the FOG index calculator.


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