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Write it Right

Write it Right by Ambrose Bierce
By: (1842-?1914)

Witty, opinionated alphabetical examples of what Bierce considered poor (American) English and advice on alternatives – entertaining, thought-provoking, occasionally outdated but so interesting to see how style and taste have changed.

First Page:

WRITE IT RIGHT

A LITTLE BLACKLIST OF LITERARY FAULTS

BY AMBROSE BIERCE

1909

AIMS AND THE PLAN

The author's main purpose in this book is to teach precision in writing; and of good writing (which, essentially, is clear thinking made visible) precision is the point of capital concern. It is attained by choice of the word that accurately and adequately expresses what the writer has in mind, and by exclusion of that which either denotes or connotes something else. As Quintilian puts it, the writer should so write that his reader not only may, but must, understand.

Few words have more than one literal and serviceable meaning, however many metaphorical, derivative, related, or even unrelated, meanings lexicographers may think it worth while to gather from all sorts and conditions of men, with which to bloat their absurd and misleading dictionaries. This actual and serviceable meaning not always determined by derivation, and seldom by popular usage is the one affirmed, according to his light, by the author of this little manual of solecisms... Continue reading book >>


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Reviews (Rated: 5 Stars - 2 reviews)

Reviewer: - May 6, 2014
Good vocabulary refresher. It wasn't tedious nor boring either.
Reviewer: - May 6, 2014
Great reminder of proper use of vocabulary words. I found this interesting. Use avoid or avert? Can or may? Capacity or ability? Give this a try.


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