This is a book review I wrote for the July 2008 issue of Blue Pencil, Newsletter of the Society of Editors (NSW) Inc.
Do you need to make room on your bookshelf for yet another reference? Read on and find out.
Bryson’s Dictionary for Writers and Editors
By Bill Bryson
Doubleday, 2008 (Revised).
Take a browse through an editor’s book collection and you’ll probably find numerous well-thumbed references: dictionaries; spelling guides; manuals of style and common usage; tomes on punctuation and grammar; thesauruses (or thesauri); writers’ guides and books of common errors.
You’re also quite likely to find books by Bill Bryson, the peripatetic American humorist who has written about everything from culture to science to the history of the English language. As a journalist, editor and writer - rather than an academic - Bryson has always had an interest in the practicalities of language.