Dreyer's English: Book summary and reviews of Dreyer's English by Benjamin Dreyer

Dreyer's English

An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style

by Benjamin Dreyer

Dreyer's English by Benjamin Dreyer X
Dreyer's English by Benjamin Dreyer
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2019
    320 pages
    Genre: Advice

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Book Summary

A witty, informative guide to writing from Random House's longtime copy chief and one of Twitter's leading language gurus - in the tradition of The Elements of Style.

We all write, all the time: books, blogs, emails. Lots and lots of emails. And we all want to write better. Benjamin Dreyer is here to help.

As Random House's copy chief, Dreyer has upheld the standards of the legendary publisher for more than two decades. He is beloved by authors and editors alike - not to mention his followers on social media - for deconstructing the English language with playful erudition. Now he distills everything he has learned from the myriad books he has copyedited and overseen into a useful guide not just for writers but for everyone who wants to put their best prose foot forward.

As authoritative as it is amusing, Dreyer's English offers lessons on punctuation, from the underloved semicolon to the enigmatic en dash; the rules and nonrules of grammar, including why it's OK to begin a sentence with "And" or "But" and to confidently split an infinitive; and why it's best to avoid the doldrums of the Wan Intensifiers and Throat Clearers, including "very," "rather," "of course," and the dreaded "actually." Dreyer will let you know whether "alright" is all right (sometimes) and even help you brush up on your spelling - though, as he notes, "The problem with mnemonic devices is that I can never remember them."

And yes: "Only godless savages eschew the series comma."

Chockful of advice, insider wisdom, and fun facts, this book will prove to be invaluable to everyone who wants to shore up their writing skills, mandatory for people who spend their time editing and shaping other people's prose, and - perhaps best of all - an utter treat for anyone who simply revels in language.

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Media Reviews

'Starred Review. This work is that rare writing handbook that writers might actually want to read straight through, rather than simply consult." - Publishers Weekly

"A pleasant voyage with a genial, worthy captain - though we do sail to many places we have been before." - Kirkus

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Author Information

Benjamin Dreyer

Benjamin Dreyer is vice president, executive managing editor and copy chief, of Random House. He began his publishing career as a freelance proofreader and copy editor. In 1993, he became a production editor at Random House, overseeing books by writers including Michael Chabon, Edmund Morris, Suzan-Lori Parks, Michael Pollan, Peter Straub, and Calvin Trillin. He has copyedited books by authors including E. L. Doctorow, David Ebershoff, Frank Rich, and Elizabeth Strout, as well as Let Me Tell You, a volume of previously unpublished or uncollected work by Shirley Jackson. A graduate of Northwestern University, he lives in New York City.

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