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The Bestselling Guide to English Usage
Автор(и) : The Economist
Издател : The Economist in Association with Profile Books Ltd.
Място на издаване : London, UK
Година на издаване : 2005
ISBN : 978-1-86197-916-2
Брой страници : 250
Език : английски
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Rare is the style guide that a person--even a word person--would want to read cover to cover. But The Economist Style Guide, designed, as the book says, to promote good writing, is so witty and rigorous as to be irresistible. The book consists of three parts. The first is the Economist's style book, which acts as a position paper of sorts in favor of clear, concise, correct usage. The big no-noes listed in the book's introduction are: "Do not be stuffy.... Do not be hectoring or arrogant.... Do not be too pleased with yourself.... Do not be too chatty.... Do not be too didactic.... [And] do not be sloppy." Before even getting to the letter B, we are reminded that aggravate "means make worse, not irritate or annoy"; that analibi "is the proven fact of being elsewhere, not a false explanation"; and that anarchy "means the complete absence of law or government. It may be harmonious or chaotic."
Part 2 of the book describes many of the spelling, grammar, and usage differences between British and American English. While many Briticisms are familiar to most Americans and vice versa, there are some words--such as homely, bomb, and table--that take on quite different meanings altogether when they cross the Atlantic. And part 3 offers a handy reference to such information as common business abbreviations, accountancy ratios, the Beaufort Scale, commodity-trade classifications, currencies, laws, measures, and stock-market indices. The U.S. reader should be aware (but not scared off by the fact) that some of the style issues addressed are specifically British.
The Economist prides itself on good quality writing. This book is the print version of their in-house style guide which they issue to all their journalists. It’s designed to promote precision and clarity in writing – and the advice it offers is expressed in a witty and succinct manner.
It gives general advice on writing skills, points out common errors and cliches, offers guidance on consistent use of punctuation, abbreviations and capital letters, and contains an exhaustive range of reference material. It also includes a special section on American and British English, a fifty-four page fact checker, and a glossary.
The emphasis of the illustrative examples is on current affairs, politics, economics, and business – but the lessons in clear expression and the examples of tangled syntax and garbled journalese will be instructive to all writers who wish to sharpen their style.
The Economist is an English-language weekly news and international affairs publication owned by The Economist Newspaper Ltd. and edited in offices in the City of Westminster, London. Continuous publication began under founder James Wilson in September 1843. While The Economist calls itself a newspaper, each issue appears on glossy paper, like a news magazine. In 2009, it reported an average circulation of just over 1.6 million copies per issue, about half of which are sold in North America. The Economist claims it "is not a chronicle of economics." Rather, it aims "to take part in a severe contest between intelligence, which presses forward, and an unworthy, timid ignorance obstructing our progress." It takes an editorial stance based on free trade and globalisation, but also the expansion of government health and education spending, as well as other, more limited, forms of governmental intervention. It targets highly educated readers and claims an audience containing many influential executives and policy-makers. The publication belongs to The Economist Group, half of which is owned by the Financial Times, a subsidiary of Pearson PLC. A group of independent shareholders, including many members of the staff and the Rothschild banking family of England, owns the rest. A board of trustees formally appoints the editor, who cannot be removed without its permission. In addition, about two-thirds of the seventy-five staff journalists are based in London, despite the global emphasis.
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