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With more than a thousand new entries and more than 2,300 word-frequency ratios, the magisterial fourth edition of this book-now renamed Garner's Modern English Usage (GMEU)-reflects usage lexicography at its finest. Garner explains the nuances of grammar and vocabulary with thoroughness, finesse, and wit. He discourages whatever is slovenly, pretentious, or pedantic.
GMEU is the liveliest and most compulsively readable reference work for writers of our time. It delights while providing instruction on skillful, persuasive, and vivid writing. Garner liberates English from two extremes: both from the hidebound "purists" who mistakenly believe that split infinitives and sentence-ending prepositions are malfeasances and from the linguistic relativists who believe that whatever people say or write must necessarily be accepted.
The judgments here are backed up not just by a lifetime of study but also by an empirical grounding in the largest linguistic corpus ever available. In this fourth edition, Garner has made extensive use of corpus linguistics to include ratios of standard terms as compared against variants in modern print sources. No other resource provides as comprehensive, reliable, and empirical a guide to current English usage.
For all concerned with writing and editing, GMEU will prove invaluable as a desk reference. Garner illustrates with actual examples, cited with chapter and verse, all the linguistic blunders that modern writers and speakers are prone to, whether in word choice, syntax, phrasing, punctuation, or pronunciation. No matter how knowledgeable you may already be, you're sure to learn from every single page of this book.
Bryan A. Garner has been recognized as a pioneer across a wide range of fields, including English usage, grammar, jurisprudence, legal advocacy, legislative drafting, transactional drafting, legal ethics, and legal lexicography. He has written more than 25 books, many of them award-winning, including The Chicago Guide to Grammar, Usage, and Punctuation; Garner on Language and Writing; Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts and Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges (both with Justice Antonin Scalia); Garner's Dictionary of Legal Usage; Legal Writing in Plain English;The Elements of Legal Style; The Winning Brief; and Ethical Communications for Lawyers. As editor in chief of Black's Law Dictionary, he has re-researched and rewritten that book over the past four editions while becoming one of the most widely cited legal writers in the world. He is Distinguished Research Professor of Law at Southern Methodist University and president of LawProse Inc.