Bryson's Dictionary of Troublesome Words: A Writer's Guide to Getting It Right

  • 256 pages
  • 0767910435
  • Anglais
  • Format Kindle
Bryson's Dictionary of Troublesome Words: A Writer's Guide to Getting It Right

ᘲ Text ৴ Bryson's Dictionary of Troublesome Words: A Writer's Guide to Getting It Right download ᙄ By Bill Bryson ᚪ Aa, an Errors involving the indefinite articles a and an are almost certainly often a consequence of haste and carelessness than of ignorance They are especially common when numbers are involved, as here Cox will contribute 10 percent of the equity needed to build a 80 million cable system Washington Post Make it an Occasionally the writer and editor together fail to note how an abbreviation is pronounced He was assisted initially by two officers from the sheriff s department and a FBI agent drafted in from the bureau s Cleveland office Chicago Tribune When the first letter of an abbreviation is pronounced as a vowel, as in FBI, the preceding article should be an, not a.abbreviations, contractions, acronyms Abbreviation is the general term used to describe any shortened word Contractions and acronyms are types of abbreviation A contraction is a word that has been squeezed in the middle, so to speak, but has retained one or of its opening and closing letters, as with Mr for Mister and can t for cannot An acronym is a word formed from the initial letter or letters of a group of words, as with radar for radio detecting and ranging, and NATO for North Atlantic Treaty Organization Abbreviations that are not pronounced as words IBM, ABC, NFL are not acronyms they are just abbreviations.Whether to write NATO or Nato is normally a matter of preference or house style American publications tend to capitalize all the letters of abbreviations, even when they are pronounced as words In Britain, generally the convention is to capitalize only the initial letter when the abbreviation is pronounced as a word and is reasonably well known Thus most British publications would write Aids and Nato but probably not Seato For abbreviations of all types, try to avoid an appearance of clutter and intrusiveness Rather than make repeated reference to the IGLCO or NOOSCAM, it is nearly always better to refer to the abbreviated party as the committee, the institute, or whatever other word is appropriate.Finally, for the benefit of travelers who may have wondered why the British so often dispense with periods on the ends of abbreviations writing Mr, Dr, and St where Americans would write Mr., Dr., and St , it s helpful to know that the convention in Britain is to include a period when the abbreviation stops in the midst of a word as with Capt and Prof., for instance but to leave off the period when the last letter of the abbreviation is the last letter of the full word that is, when it is a contraction.accessible Not able.accommodate One of the most misspelled of all words Note mm.accompanist Not iest.acidulous, assiduous Acidulous means tart or acid Assiduous means diligent.acolyte Not ite.acoustics As a science, the word is singular Acoustics was his line of work As a collection of properties, it is plural The acoustics in the auditorium were not good.acronyms See abbreviations, contractions, acronyms.activity Often a sign of prolixity, as here The warnings followed a week of earthquake activity throughout the region Independent Just make it a week of earthquakes.acute, chronic These two are sometimes confused, which is a little odd, as their meanings are sharply opposed Chronic pertains to lingering conditions, ones that are not easily overcome Acute refers to those that come to a sudden crisis and require immediate attention People in the Third World may suffer from a chronic shortage of food In a bad year, their plight may become acute.a.d anno Domini Lat , in the year of the Lord a.d should be written before the year a.d 25 but after the century fourth century a.d and is usually set in small caps See also anno domini and b.c.adage Even the most careful users of English frequently, but unnecessarily, refer to an old adage An adage is by definition old.adapter, adaptor The first is one who adapts as in a book for theatrical presentation the second is the device for making appliances work abroad and so on.adjective pileup Many journalists, in an otherwise commendable attempt to pack as much information as possible into a confined space, often resort to the practice of piling adjectives in front of the subject, as in this London Times headline Police rape claim woman in court Apart from questions of inelegance, such headlines can be confusing, to say the least A hurried reader, expecting a normal subject verb object construction, could at first conclude that the police have raped a claim woman in court before the implausibility of that notion makes him go back and read the headline again Readers should never be required to retrace their steps, however short the journey Although the practice is most common in headlines, it sometimes crops up in text, as here The new carburetor could result in an up to 35 percent improvement in gas mileage Des Moines Register The ungainliness here could instantly be eliminated by making it an improvement in mileage of up to 35 percent.administer Not administrate.admit to is nearly always wrong, as in these examples The Rev Jesse Jackson had just admitted to fathering a child with an adoring staffer Balti Sun Pretoria admits to raid against Angola Guardian headline Botha admits to errors on Machel cash Independent headline Delete to in each case You admit a misdeed, you do not admit to it.advance planning is common but always redundant All planning must be done in advance.adverse, averse Occasionally confused Averse means reluctant or disinclined think of aversion Adverse means hostile and antagonistic think of adversary.aerate Just two syllables Not aereate.affect, effect As a verb, affect means to influence Smoking may affect your health or to adopt a pose or manner She affected ignorance Effect as a verb means to accomplish The prisoners effected an escape As a noun, the word needed is almost always effect as in personal effects or the damaging effects of war Affect as a noun has a narrow psychological meaning to do with emotional states by way of which it is related to affection.affinity denotes a mutual relationship Therefore, strictly speaking, one should not speak of someone or something having an affinity for another but should speak of an affinity with or between When mutuality is not intended, sympathy would be a better word But it should also be noted that a number of authorities and many dictionaries no longer insist on this distinction.affright Note ff.Afrikaans, Afrikaners The first is a language, the second a group of people.aggravate in the sense of exasperate has been with us at least since the early seventeenth century and has been opposed by grammarians for about as long Strictly, aggravate means to make a bad situation worse If you walk on a broken leg, you may aggravate the injury People can never be aggravated, only circumstances Fowler, who called objections to the looser usage a fetish, was no doubt right when he insisted the purists were fighting a battle that had already been lost, but equally there is no real reason to use aggravate when annoy will do.aggression, aggressiveness Aggression in U.S pays off for Tilling Group Times headline Aggression always denotes hostility, which was not intended here The writer of the headline meant to suggest only that the company had taken a determined and enterprising approach to the American market The word he wanted was aggressiveness, which can denote either hostility or merely boldness.aid and abet A tautological gift from the legal profession The two words together tell us nothing that either doesn t say on its own The only distinction is that abet is normally reserved for contexts involving criminal intent Thus it would be careless to speak of a benefactor abetting the construction of a church or youth club Other redundant expressions dear to lawyers include null and void, ways and means, and without let or hindrance.AIDS is not correctly described as a disease It is a medical condition The term is short for acquired immune deficiency syndrome.Air Line Pilots Association for the group that looks after the interests of American commercial pilots.airlines It is thought the company may also be in exploratory talks with another U.S carrier, Alaskan Airlines Times It s Alaska Airlines It was found only a few miles from where a Swiss Air jet crashed two years ago Boston Globe It s Swissair Perhaps because airlines so commonly merge or change their names, they are often wrongly designated in newspaper reporting The following are among the commonly troublesome Aer LingusAerolineas ArgentinasAeroMexicoAeroPeruAir India note hyphen AirTran Airlines formerly ValuJet Airlines Alaska AirlinesAll Nippon Airways not lines Delta Air Lines note Air Lines two words Iberia Airlines not Iberian IcelandairJapan Airlines Airlines one word, but JAL for the company s abbreviation KLM Royal Dutch Airlines normally just KLM LanChile one word, but formerly Lan Chile, two words Sabena Belgian World Airlines normally just Sabena Scandinavian Airlines System normally just SAS SriLankan Airlines formerly AirLanka note one word onSriLankan SwissairUnited Airlines Airlines one word, but UAL for the company s abbreviation US Airways formerly USAir, one word Virgin Atlantic AirwaysAlas poor Yorick I knew him, Horatio, is the correct version of the quotation from Hamlet, which is often wrongly, and somewhat mysteriously, rendered as Alas poor Yorick, I knew him well.albumen, albumin Albumen is the white of an egg albumin is a protein within the albumen.Alfa Romeo for the Italian make of automobile Not Alpha.alias, alibi Both words derive from the Latin root alius meaning other Alias refers to an assumed name and pertains only to names It would be incorrect to speak of an impostor passing himself off under the alias of being a doctor.Alibi is a much contentious word In legal parlance it refers to a plea by an accused person that she was elsewhere at the time she was alleged to have committed a crime More commonly it is used to mean any excuse Fowler called this latter usage mischievous and pretentious, and most authorities agree with him But Bernstein, while conceding that the usage is a casualism, contends that no other word can quite convey the meaning of an excuse intended to transfer responsibility Time will no doubt support him many distinguished writers have used alibi in its general, less fastidious sense but for the moment, all that can be said is that in the sense of a general excuse, many authorities consider alibi unacceptable.allay, alleviate, assuage, relieve Alleviate should suggest giving temporary relief without removing the underlying cause of a problem It is close in meaning to ease, a fact obviously unknown to the writer of this sentence It will ease the transit squeeze, but will not alleviate it Chicago Tribune Allay and assuage both mean to put to rest or to pacify and are most often applied to fears Relieve is the general term and covers all these meanings.all intents and purposes is colorless, redundant, and hackneyed Almost any other expression would be an improvement He is, to all intents and purposes, king of the island Mail on Sunday would be instantly made better by changing the central phrase to in effect or removing it altogether If the phrase must be used at all, it can always be shorn of the last two words To all intents says as much as to all intents and purposes.all right A sound case could be made for shortening all right to alright, as many informal users of English do already Many other compounds beginning with all have been contracted without protest for centuries, among them already, almost, altogether, and even alone, which originally was all one English, however, is a slow and fickle tongue, and alright continues to be looked on as illiterate and unacceptable, and consequently it ought never to appear in serious writing.All Souls College,Oxford Not Souls.all time Many authorities object to this expression in constructions such as She was almost certainly the greatest female sailor of all time Daily Telegraph on the grounds that all time extends to the future as well as the past and we cannot possibly know what lies ahead A no less pertinent consideration is that such assessments, as in the example just cited, are bound to be hopelessly subjective and therefore have no place in any measured argument For a similar problem with futurity, see ever.allusion When the speaker happened to name Mr Gladstone, the allusion was received with loud cheers cited by Fowler The word is not, as many suppose, a impressive synonym for reference When you allude to something, you do not specifically mention it but leave it to the reader to deduce the subject Thus it would be correct to write, In an allusion to the President, he said, Some people make better oil men than politicians The word is closer in meaning to implication or suggestion.altercation Three youths were injured in the altercation Chicago Tribune No one suffers physical injury in an altercation It is a heated exchange of words and nothing .alumnae, alumni Parker joined the other Wellesley alumni in a round of sustained applause from the podium Boston Globe Alumni is the masculine plural for a collection of college graduates In the context of an all female institution, as in the example just cited, the correct word is alumnae The singular forms are respectively alumna feminine and alumnus masculine.ambidextrous Not erous.ambiguous, equivocal Both mean vague and open to than one interpretation But whereas an ambiguous statement may be vague by accident or by intent, an equivocal one is calculatedly unclear.amid, among Among applies to things that can be separated and counted, amid to things that cannot Rescuers might search among survivors but amid wreckage See also between, among.amoral, immoral Amoral describes matters in which questions of morality do not arise or are disregarded immoral applies to things that are evil.Amtrak for the passenger railroad corporation The company s formal designation is the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, but this is almost never used, even on first reference.and The belief that and should not be used to begin a sentence is without foundation And that s all there is to it.A thornier problem is seen here The group has interests in Germany, Australia, Japan and intends to expand into North America next year Times This is what Fowler called a bastard enumeration and Bernstein, with delicacy, called a series out of control The defect is that the closing clause intends to expand into North America next year does not belong to the series that precedes it It is a separate thought The sentence should read, The group has interests in Germany, Australia, and Japan, and intends to expand into North America next year Note that the inclusion of a comma after Japan helps to signal that the series has ended and a new clause is beginning From the Hardcover edition.A worthwhile addition to any writers or editors reference library Los Angeles Times Bryson is a world class grammar maven Michael Upchurch, Seattle TimesA usage book with a nice sense of differentiation.William Safire, New York Times MagazineBrysons erudition is evident and refreshing a straightforward, concise, utilitarian guide Publishers Weekly Bryson s Dictionary of Troublesome Words Bryson Words Kindle edition by Bill Download it once and read on your device, PC, phones or tablets Use features like Bill Wikipedia Early life was born in Des Moines, Iowa, the son Agnes Mary ne McGuire sports journalist Sr His mother Irish descent He had an Notes from a Small Island Notes is humorous travel book Great Britain American author Bryson, first published Overview wrote , The Palace Under Alps Over Other Unusual, Unspoiled, Infrequently Visited Spots European Countries On use word gotten Sarah Woodbury Many UK readers have wondered about objected strongly to my books Since not common usage England right now Does Listening Audiobook Count As One debate that been dividing reading community for last few years question whether listening audiobook counts as There bol Boeken kopen Kijk snel van lezen koop je eenvoudig online bij bol Vele aanbiedingen Gratis retourneren dagen A Short History Nearly Everything, Everything paperback describes himself reluctant traveller, but even when he stays safely at home can t penguin turns away travelling highways byways middle America, so hilariously depicted his bestselling Lost Continent, Life YouTube I do videos moon space try get out every evening My telescope Celestron Nexstar SE especially designed Experimental Camer Mijn favoriete auteur MirandaLeest Voor maak ik echter een uitzondering Van hem herlees ieder jaar wel paar boeken Mijn eerste kennismaking met Author Walk Woods About William OBE, FRS settled , worked journalism Reisgidsen per land Bruna Bekijk alle n overzicht Iowa For twenty lived England, where Times Independent, most major British De weg naar Little Dribbling Boek en De Brysons kennis over Groot Brittanni ontwikkelde zich weet bijna niets grondige vertrouwdheid tot Biografia nato nel nella citt di La madre, Mcguire, era discendenza irlandese il padre un giornalista A Woods Rediscovering America on Appalachian Trail FREE shipping qualifying offers trail Quotes quotes Not one pertinent ancestors squashed, devoured, drowned, starved, stranded, stuck fast, untimely wounded, otherwise Library Durham University Here you find map Level floor which enter This summary study American view cricket Wanderers Home Page An amusing taken Down HuZheng David Felicity Dan McLean, Nick Southern, Patrick Gallagher, Larry Ashmead, staff peerless ever cheery Howe Hanover, New Bryson's Dictionary of Troublesome Words: A Writer's Guide to Getting It Right

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