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Manual Labor

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Writing guides, grammar books, punctuation how-tos . . . do you read them? Not read them? How many writing books, grammar books, dictionaries–if any–do you have in your library?

A great deal of my shelf space is devoted to these guides. I have my Webster Collegiate Dictionary, the pocket-size Webster New World Dictionary, the Oxford Advanced Learner’s English-Chinese Dictionary, a thesarus, and The Chicago Manual of Style which comes in rescue in so many occasions for writing term paper. I turn to my English/Thai dictionary for useful phrases and expressions before I travel to one of my favorite countries. I also accumulate two English/Japanese dictionaries being a sensei of nihongo for six years. Recently I acquired the illustrative, hardback edition of The Elements of Style to replace the yellowed, brittle paperback. Another one that often thumb into is A Concise English Grammar, gift of my then English teacher when I left Hong Kong for America.

10 Responses

  1. Yes I’ve got the Elements of Style – greatly recommended. I keep reminding myself not to use the adverbs when I write 🙂

  2. As usual, we’re on the same page, if you’ll pardon the pun!

  3. I have a French/English dictionary, a Russian/English dictionary, a symbolism reference book, and “Grammar Snobs Are Great Big Meanies”.

  4. found this hardback title in Page One last year but didn’t buy it at last

    love its binding sooo much but we also have something similar, or a bit better :p

  5. I have Elements of Style. I love reference books; I have several always at hand by my computer and many others, mingled with other volumes, ranged over several bookshelves around the house.

  6. seachanges:
    Sometimes it’s tough to avoid the adverbs. My English teacher in high school forbade us to begin a sentence with “There is, there are…” 🙂

  7. gentle reader:
    Great minds think alike! 🙂

  8. Greg:
    “Grammar Snobs Are Great Big Meanies” yeah but you need that to pass GRE! 🙂

  9. Wordy:

    Oh I saw it at PageOne at Times Square, didn’t know you’d like one. 🙂

  10. Greg S:

    Like you, I’ve moved my dictionaries and manuals next to my computer so I have them handy when I’m writing blog posts! 🙂

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