Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Words in all the right places

WORDS, on their own, are merely words; when put together in their right order, they are capable of telling stories and changing mindsets, society and the world. Words, in the hands of great writers, leap off the page and grab you by the scruff of your neck. Great writers like Truman Capote, in the words of the late William Styron in an essay recently published in a collection, Havanas in Camelot: Personal Essays (Random House, 2008), “could make words dance and sing, change color mysteriously, perform feats of magic, provoke laughter, send a chill up the back, touch the heart.” Readers who love words and the magic tricks they could perform would appreciate the following guides to writing well.
  1. Bryson’s Dictionary for Writers and Editors (Doubleday, 2008) / Bill Bryson
  2. The Secret Life of Words: How English Became English (John Murray, 2008) / Henry Hitchings
  3. That or Which, and Why: A Usage Guide for Thoughtful Writers and Editors (Routledge, 2007) / Evan Jenkins


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