Review 1464: Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style

Dreyer’s English was recommended to me by a friend, and it proved to be so popular at the library that I had to wait two months for my hold to come through. As I worked as a writer for more than 30 years, not too much of what Dreyer has to say is a surprise to me, but his facetious style is refreshing.

This book is a familiarly organized writing reference, but it’s easy to simply read it, because it’s fun. Dreyer got on my good side almost immediately by citing Words into Type, a book that was my editing bible for years. I noticed in later years that young writers were rather sneery about it (“That’s out of date, isn’t it?”), or I more frequently met with a blank stare when I recommended it. Now I feel vindicated.

Most interesting to me was the expansion of the “easily confused” list from that included in Words into Type. I was surprised at the increase in the number of simple items being confused.

From its Intro to its Outro, Dreyer’s English contains useful information for even the most casual writer. I think I’m going to buy a copy.

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4 thoughts on “Review 1464: Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style

  1. Naomi January 23, 2020 / 10:33 am

    I have heard this is a great book! Sounds like a good one to own.

    • whatmeread January 23, 2020 / 1:23 pm

      Yes, it’s much like Words Into Type, the grammar sections anyway, but updated and funny.

  2. Cynthia C January 31, 2020 / 8:05 am

    I heard good things about this book when it came out. You have awakened my desire to take a look at it. I wonder how it treats the lay/lie controversy, which is grating on my nerves as I see it even occasionally misused in the local section of the paper and in magazine writing. The misuse is seeping into conventional use.

    • whatmeread January 31, 2020 / 11:11 am

      I didn’t think there was a controversy, just proper or improper English. I can’t remember if it includes it or not, but it talked about some ones that I thought were obvious, so probably does.

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