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Garner's Modern American Usage
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    • Imported from USA.

    From School Library Journal
    ---------------------------

    Grade 9 Up—Garner makes grammar fun, and readers will not only find elucidation but also moments of pure
    delight while browsing these pages. This edition includes more than 10,500 entries (an increase of approximately 1500
    over the 2003 volume). There are preface statements from all three editions as well as new, worthwhile introductory
    essays: "Making Peace in the Language Wars" and "Ongoing Struggles of Garlic-Hangers" (a consideration of the
    descriptive vs. proscriptive debate). As always, the entries are not only filled with clear lessons about language
    usage, trends, and problems inherent in misuse, but they are also peppered with cleverly chosen examples of both usage
    and misusage. Entries run anywhere from a line or two about spelling ("espresso" not "expresso") to a full column (see
    "effete") or more (see "irregular verbs" and the table following). Added to this edition is a language-change index that
    rates where a disputed usage falls on a scale of 1-5 (with 1 being "widely rejected" and 5 being "universally accepted")
    so that readers can gauge the correctness of a phrase such as "Hopefully, it won't rain tomorrow." Garner isn't a snob,
    though. His book is the best of its kind in that it simply reports the facts in an engaging way; language evolves and
    usage changes. The book ends with a 46-page glossary of grammatical, rhetorical, and other language-related terms, and a
    10-page time line of books on usage. An invaluable ready-reference tool.—Herman Sutter, Saint Agnes Academy, Houston, TX
    (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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    *Starred Review* The “prescriptive/descriptive” debate in usage is alive and well with this newest edition
    of Garner’s readable work. Featuring more than 10,500 entries (up from 9,000), this edition features several
    enhancements. They include identifying poor usage with an asterisk before the terms and ranking certain entries with a
    “Language Change Index,” which measures “how widely accepted various linguistic innovations have become.” The scale is
    from 1 to 5, with 1 being rejected and 5 being fully accepted. For example, coupon being mispronounced “kyoo” instead of
    “koo” is given stage 4 (“the form is virtually universal but is opposed on cogent grounds by a few linguistic
    stalwarts”). More than 2,000 usages are ranked. Extras in the volume include a new essay from Garner (“The Ongoing
    Struggles of Garlic-Hangers”) as well as the essay that appeared in the previous edition (“Making Peace in the Language
    Wars,” in which Garner describes himself as being “a kind of descriptive prescriber”) and a concluding 47-page glossary
    of grammatical terms and a time line of books on usage. The main focus remains Garner’s entries and usage notes. They
    range from word entries that simply verify the spelling (mayonnaise), to those clarifying two terms (sight, site), to
    those where he offers his never dull opinions (such as holocaust, which he calls “one of our most hyperbolic words,
    beloved of jargonmongers and second-rate journalists”). But the longer essay entries on usage, ranging from the
    half-page Officialese to the 9-page Punctuation, are Garner’s bread and butter. One would be tempted to say that this is
    clearly one of the best works on the topic, but doing so would be using one of Garner’s weasel words (intensives such as
    clearly that “actually have the effect of weakening a statement”). Suffice it to say that it is highly recommended for
    most libraries. --Ken Black

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