An indispensable guide to the craft of writing from Random House’s long-time copy chief and one of Twitter’s leading language gurus. We all write, all the time: books, blogs, tweets, emails, emails, emails – and we all want to write better. Benjamin Dreyer is here to help.
As Random House’s copy chief, Dreyer has upheld the standards of the legendary publisher for more than two decades. He is beloved by authors and editors alike – not to mention his followers on social media – for playfully, brilliantly deconstructing the English language. Dreyer’s English is the distillation of everything he has learned from copyediting thousands of books, the perfect guide not just for writers but for everyone who wants to put their best prose foot forward.
Both authoritative and amusing, Dreyer’s English offers lessons on punctuation, from the underloved semicolon to the enigmatic en-dash; the rules and non-rules of grammar, including why it’s OK to begin a sentence with ‘And’ or ‘But’ and to confidently split an infinitive; and why it’s best to avoid the doldrums of the Wan Intensifiers and Throat Clearers, including ‘very’, ‘rather’, ‘of course’, and the dreaded ‘actually’. And yes: ‘Only godless savages eschew the Oxford comma.’ Stuffed with advice, insider wisdom, and fun facts, this book will prove to be invaluable to everyone who wants to shore up their writing skills, mandatory for people who spend their time editing and shaping other people’s prose, and – perhaps best of all – an utter treat for anyone who simply revels in language.