Monday, May 20, 2013

I Need Style

What reference work (dictionary, thesaurus, style guide, etc) is indispensable in your writing? Why?

Here’s what I’ve got on my reference bookshelf (yes, these are actual printed books!):

The Dictionary of ClichésChicago Manual
The Bantam Medical Dictionary
The New International Dictionary of Quotations
What Happened When
Woe is I
Chicago Manual of Style
The Elements of Style (otherwise known as Strunk and White)
Mark My Words
Formatting & Submitting Your Manuscript
Webster’s Dictionary
Roget’s Thesaurus
The Synonym Finder
Illustrated Reverse Dictionary
The New York Public Library Desk Reference
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary of Quotations
A Treasury for Word Lovers

Do I ever use these books? What, with the Internet a click away? Are you kidding? Truth is—for good or for bad—I do most of my research/grammar-checking/spell-checking/synonym-finding/procrastinating on line.

From time to time, however, I will crack open my Chicago Manual to check on some arcane usage question (I slept through my high school English classes). There’s just something about that authoritative tome that I trust!

(This entry is “simul-posted” on Criminal Minds.)



Patricia Stoltey said...

I'm happy with my fat dictionary, a big Thesaurus, and Elements of Style which I read from time to time as a review.

Jan Morrison said...

just like Pat - I like my dictionary (American Heritage for me), my thesaurus and Strunk & White. I also need help in my revision with commas which I seem to be dyslexic about. hmmm ...

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