Interview with David Hauser, Author of Unstoppable

Over the coming months we will publish interviews with book authors, focusing on the process of actually writing the book, launching and promoting it. Many of these authors are not professional writers and are publishing their very first book, which should provide valuable insights for people aspiring to do the same. David Hauser is a …Read more

Top 10 Websites for Book Lovers

There is something magical about reading books. Whether you like fiction or non-fiction, fantasy or sci-fi, there are many books out there. Still, it isn’t always easy to make a trip to the bookstore or library to find that specific book that you are looking for. If you find yourself itching for a new read, …Read more

How English Became English

Here is a book certain to delight, enlighten, or annoy readers of language blogs like this one: How English Became English, Simon Horobin, OUP, 2016. Horobin, professor of English language and literature at the University of Oxford, has packed a huge amount of information into a 5×7 format of 175 pages, including bibliography and index. …Read more

Book Review: May I Quote You On That?

It has been quite a while since I reviewed a book about usage and grammar on this site. The only thing to set such books apart is the formatting and the title. The content is usually the same. A new guide from the Oxford Press is no exception to the charge of sameness of information. …Read more

The Language Police

Lovers of language and literature, especially those with children or grandchildren still in Grades K-12, will find The Language Police by education historian Diane Ravitch riveting, revelatory, and extremely disturbing. The Language Police is an exposé of the practice of systematic self-censoring by textbook manufacturers to avoid offending either the political right or the left. …Read more

APA and MLA Style Guides

Research is a messy business. Even when the object of the research is as limited as looking for a car or renting a house, materials accumulate: newspaper and magazine clippings, brochures, envelopes and bits of paper with names, prices, phone numbers and dates of availability jotted on them. Keeping track of these materials can be …Read more

Book Review: “The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation”

No one writing handbook or grammar guide should suffice for careful writers, and though Jane Straus’s The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation is less comprehensive than some other resources, its large-format workbook approach provides a reader-friendly introduction to the intricacies of proper prose. Straus was still a college student when she began her career …Read more

10 Anthologies About Writing

It is quite possible to spend the rest of your life reading about how to write and never get around to actually writing — especially with so many convenient collections of writers’ ruminations like the ones listed and described below. 1. Bad Girls: 26 Writers Misbehave Twenty-six authors share confessions about their transgressions in this …Read more

Book Review: “Good Prose: The Art of Nonfiction”

You may never work with an editor, but whether you do, or you work only with an internal editor, Good Prose: The Art of Nonfiction will provide insight into the process of developing content. Good Prose, a collaboration between Tracy Kidder, who won a Pulitzer Prize for The Soul of a New Machine in 1982, …Read more

Book Review: A Manual for Writers

I was prepared to have to slog through Kate L. Turabian’s Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations — I mean, just read that title again — in order to review it, but to my surprise, I found it (in parts, at least) rather appealing. To be fair, this isn’t your father’s Turabian. …Read more

5 Other Online Dictionaries

Regular Daily Writing Tips readers know that I often extol Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, the dictionary of record for the American publishing industry. Despite its apparent casual acceptance of nonstandard spellings, it’s an authoritative resource — as is its Internet version, Merriam-Webster Online. But plenty of alternatives exist; here are five interesting and helpful variations on …Read more

5 Types of Specialized Dictionaries

Dictionaries aren’t just for looking up spellings and meanings of a broad selection of terms; you’ll find biographical, geographical, and medical dictionaries, among other specialized volumes. Here are five other categories of repositories of words, with a link to one online example of each. 1. Reverse Dictionaries A reverse dictionary enables you to type in …Read more