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The Penguin Dictionary Of English Grammar

Author : R. L. Trask
ISBN : UCSC:32106015834879
Genre : English language
File Size : 63.37 MB
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This is a succinct guide to the grammatical laws and idiosyncrasmies that govern the English language. It focuses on current usage.
Category: English language

A Dictionary Of Grammatical Terms In Linguistics

Author : Robert Lawrence Trask
ISBN : STANFORD:36105002392350
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 87.58 MB
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This dictionary of grammatical terms covers both current and traditional terminology in syntax and morphology. It includes descriptive terms, the major theoretical concepts of the most influential grammatical frameworks, and the chief terms from mathematical and computational linguistics. It contains over 1500 entries, providing definitions and examples, pronunciations, the earliest sources of terms and suggestions for further reading, and recommendations about competing and conflicting usages. The book focuses on non-theory-bound descriptive terms, which will remain current for some years.
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines


Author : Robert Lawrence Trask
ISBN : 9780415200899
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 36.97 MB
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Language: The Basicsprovides a concise introduction to the study of language. Written in an engaging and entertaining style, it encourages the reader to think about the way language works. New features include: * a chapter on 'Language in Use' which introduces pragmatics, metaphor, speech and writing and discourse analysis * a section on sign language * a glossary of key terms * an expanded further reading section Language: the Basicsprovides an overview for students and anyone who's ever been accused of splitting an infinitive.
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

The Penguin Dictionary Of American English Usage And Style Lovinger 2000

Author : Penguin Books, Ltd
Genre : Reference
File Size : 78.44 MB
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Aim; Form The volume in your hands is meant to be both useful and enjoyable, a readable dictionary for all who are interested in our language. In A-to-Z form, it is mainly a guide to good usage of English, the American variety, contrasted with some 2,000 quoted examples of misusage and questionable usage. It does the job of “illuminating many traps and pitfalls in English usage” (as my editor puts it). I have sought to provide clear explanations in plain language. This book is designed for general readers as well as those who work with words. The examples were drawn from the popular press, broadcasting, books, and a variety of other sources, mostly in the latter eighties and the nineties. Each entry devoted to a specific word or phrase contains one or more of those quotations. The troublesome forms are contrasted with the proper forms (which are emphasized by italics) and definitions are given. Entries on general topics are presented too; they deal with matters of grammar, punctuation, style, and so on. A list of them, with further description of the two types of entry, appears under “General Topics,” following this introduction. With few exceptions, the examples have determined the choices of word entries. Thus the book in part amounts to an informal survey of contemporary problems in English usage. Both perennial problems and new ones come up. Of the misuses discouraged by earlier books on English usage, some persist; others have not turned up, but, as though to take their place, new offenses against the language have emerged. Here are some hints for finding your way around the volume: • Main entries, headed in boldface, are arranged alphabetically, letter by letter. • Many entries are divided into sections, which are numbered and titled. The sections of an entry are arranged alphabetically, and their titles are listed at the beginning, after the main title. Some sections contain subsections, distinguished by letters and titles. • There are numerous crossreferences, some standing alone and others within entries. For instance, in the C’s under Comma it says See Punctuation, 3, referring the reader to the entry. Many entries refer to related entries. Alphabetical order is used in listing any series of crossreferences and various other series. last entry vii introduction Watching Our Words Viewpoint This work could be viewed as an antidote to laissez-faire lexicography and anything-goes grammar. The doctrine that whatever emerges from people’s lips is the language and that many verbal wrongs make a right is not advocated here. Nor is the cliché of English as “a living language” dragged in to justify bad English. On the contrary, I do not hesitate to distinguish between right and wrong usage when the difference is clear. My inclination is to question deviant forms, challenge innovations to prove themselves, and resist senseless fads. (See also the final section of this introduction.) I thereby risk being labeled a “purist” by some critics—as though impurity were desirable. Perhaps in a long-range, philosophical sense there is no verbal right and wrong. But that view does not help you and me in choosing our words and putting together our sentences clearly and properly according to the educated norms of society. Those holding the permissive views follow most of the norms themselves. They do not say or write, “Them guys hasn’t came,” or “I ain’t did nothin nohow,” although some people are apt to do so. For the most part, the laws of grammar have not been repealed. Not that one should be pedantic either. The book does not flatly condemn split infinitives, prepositions at the end of sentences, conjunctions at the beginning, sentence fragments, or phrases like “It’s me.” But it does value precision over fashion, logic over illogic, and grammatical correctness over “political correctness.” (In my view, those who mutilate our language for political motives do wrong.) At times the difference between correct and incorrect usage is hazy. English has an abundance of words,* more than any other language, and multiple ways to express almost any idea. Our language is so complex that nobody ever learns it all and that even its leading authorities occasionally stumble. They disagree and one finds fault with another. Their differences concern both specific points and standards of strictness or looseness in the use of words and grammar. Some loose uses of words or phrases and some slang that may pass harmlessly in informal conversation are inappropriate when transferred to serious writing or even serious speech. This book will help the reader to make sound choices. Examples Samples of sentences that clearly fall into the wrong category follow. The first few are (alternately) by professionals of broadcasting and journalism. A correction follows each quotation. (Each comes up in the main text.) “There were roofs completely tore up.” Torn up. “I like to serve it with croutons . . . that is flavored with olive oil.” Are flavored. “Police said ——— and ——— built the bombs theirselves.” Themselves. “It would be more racism showing it’s ugly head again.” Its. “There is a way to empower your viii introduction *The Oxford English Dictionary, seeking to record all English words, says it covers more than 500,000 words and phrases in its twenty volumes. The Guinness Book of World Records places the count at more than 600,000 words plus 400,000 technical terms, a total exceeding a million. It numbers the Shakespearean vocabulary at 33,000 words and expresses doubt that any person uses more than 60,000. children and make them far more better . . . students.” Delete “more.” “Women have smaller brains then men.” Than. “The . . . campaign has got to break into the double digits to be respectful.” Respectable. (Headline:) “Be Happy She Prys.” Pries. Additional slip-ups, by people in other fields, include these: (Advertising:) “I always wanted to loose weight.” Lose. (Book publishing:) “Allow someone else to proofread [edit?] it . . . who will not be affraid to be biased in their opinion.” Afraid to be unbiased in his opinion. (Diplomacy:) “It is quite clear that the crisis has reached a critical point.” Better: the dispute or the situation. (Education:) “Me and my kids live in a dormitory.” I and. (Law:) “No one is free to flaunt the tax laws.” Flout. (Medicine:) “We’re obligated to do that biopsy irregardless of the physical findings.” Regardless. (Psychology:) “Their child don’t look so good.” Doesn’t look. The book debunks some widespread misbeliefs. If we do not fully understand the meanings of certain words or if we accept some clichés on their faces, we may believe that fury rages in the “eye” of a storm; a “fraction” is a small part; the character “Frankenstein” was a monster; to “impeach” an official is to oust him from office; a jury can find a defendant “innocent”; pencils contain the metal “lead”; a “misdemeanor” is not a crime; prostitution is the “oldest profession”; an exception “proves” a rule; the Constitution guarantees “the pursuit of happiness”; and so on. The criticism of any extract does not negate the overall merit of the work that is quoted.* Clarity Clarity is a leading theme of this book. More than 100 entries deal with the problem of ambiguity (noun): the state of being ambiguous (adjective), able to be interpreted in two or more different ways. Consider this sentence: “When P—— was hired by H——, he had a criminal record.” Which one is “he”? (That example is from Pronouns, 1. Consult also the cross-reference Ambiguity and the next section of this introduction, Wounded Words. General examples of fuzzy prose appear in Verbosity and other entries.) Clear expression requires clear thinkintroduction ix *Of 2,000-odd examples of misusage or questionable usage, almost half originated with newspapers, news agencies, or magazines; about a fifth each with broadcasters and books; and a tenth with people in many other fields or miscellaneous sources, described in the text. A few appeared in other reference works. The single most frequent source of examples was The New York Times (usually the national edition), which occasionally is quoted here approvingly too. Newspapers distributed in the San Francisco Bay area and TV and radio broadcasts heard there were significant sources. Dozens of other newspapers, from most regions of the country, yielded examples too. So did 120 books, mostly nonfiction. Some correct or incorrect examples, not counted above, were composed where fitting. The sources of the quotations are not usually identified by name. Space did not permit the publication of a list of such sources (although it had been contemplated). But a variety of reference works consulted as sources of information are listed in the back of the book. ing. It helps also to be versed in the distinctions among words and in the elements of grammar, including tense, number, mood, parts of speech, sentence structure, and punctuation. Even so, clarity may not survive hastiness, inability to express ideas simply, intentional hedging, lack of facts, language that is too pompous or too slangy, obscurity of ideas or terms, overloading of sentences, overlooking of double meanings, stinginess in using words or punctuation, too little thought, or too much abstraction and generality without concrete examples. Then, too, muddiness and confusion can overcome our best efforts. Writers on the English language often compare it with other languages and glory in its complexity, variety, and subtlety. Yet the language is so complex, with varieties of expression so vast, subtleties so fine, and such a proliferation of word meanings, that it can trap any of us at some time or other. Unqualified praise helps no one. Let us be aware of the difficulties and try to overcome them. Greater efforts to write and speak clearly, accurately, and sensibly would mean more understanding, something that society needs. Wounded Words One of the problems is that English is being deprived of the benefit of many distinctive words as looser meanings develop. The addition of the new meanings renders some of the words ambiguous. I call them wounded words. Examples of those words and their strict meanings follow; loose meanings are in parentheses. Which meaning a writer or speaker has intended is not always plain from the context. A fabulous story is one that is characteristic of a fable (or a good story). An impact is a violent contact (or an effect). A legendary figure is mythical (or famous). One who is masterful is dictatorial (or skillful). To scan a document is to examine it carefully and systematically (or quickly and superficially). If a scene is a shambles, it shows evidence of bloodshed (or disorder). If an incident transpired this year, this year is when it became known (or happened). When an ultimatum is given, a threat of war is issued (or a demand is made). That which is viable is able to live (or feasible).* Many loose or questionable uses are widespread. Does that mean we have to follow suit? Of course not. Save the Language New words continually appear. Those that fill needs are generally desirable. What ought to be questioned or resisted are the watering-down of distinctive words that we already have, the creation of ambiguity and fuzziness, the breakdown of grace and grammar, and irrational verbal fads. Change characterizes the history of English; but whereas innovations in the main language used to be tested slowly by time, and street slang usually stayed there, they are now both thrust upon the public almost instantly by the media of mass communication. x introduction *Among words in similar condition are these: accost, alibi, anticipate, bemuse, brandish, brutalize, burgeon, careen, classic, cohort, compendium, connive, cool, culminate, decimate, desecrate, destiny, dilemma, disaster, effete, eke, endemic, enormity, erstwhile, exotic, fantastic, formidable, fortuitous, fraction, gay, idyllic, incredible, increment, internecine, jurist, literal, livid, marginal, mean (noun), minimize, neat, obscene, outrageous, paranoid, pristine, quite, sure, travesty, unique, utilize, verbal, virtual, vital, weird, wherefore, willy-nilly. The words emphasized in this section have separate entries. Our language is an invaluable resource, as much a part of our heritage as forests, wildlife, and waters. Yet where are movements for verbal conservation? Who campaigns to save endangered words? When do we ever see demonstrations against linguistic pollution? To support the cause of good English, you and I need not join a group, attend rallies, or give money. We can contribute every day by knowing the language, shunning the fads, and watching our words. P.W.L. San Francisco
Category: Reference

Mind The Gaffe

Author : R L Trask
ISBN : 9780141941363
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 53.56 MB
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Can anything be described as 'very real'? There are so many obstacles on the way to writing clear, precise ('accurate'?) English ('english'?) that it is a wonder ('wander'?) anyone ('any one' or 'anyone'?) can be understood. Fortunately, all those who have ever feared being shown up by using one of the twenty worst words and phrases to be avoided at all costs, or confusing the complex with the complicated, can now relax and even enjoy a trouble-shooting guide to good writing. Trask's wonderfully readable and authoritative book adjudicates on hundreds of contentious issues from politically correct language to whether to write 'napkin' or 'serviette'.
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

The Little Green Grammar Book Large Print 16pt

Author : Mark Tredinnick
ISBN : 9781459604544
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 43.65 MB
Format : PDF
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What really goes on inside a sentence? What is your subject, and where is your verb, and what is its tense, and where is your modifier, and why does it matter? Where do you need a comma, and where do you not? Why are dashes and semicolons so misunderstood? When is it which and when is it that? In The Little Green Grammar Book, Mark Tredinnick asks and answers the tough grammar questions - big and small - with the same verve and authority readers encountered in The Little Red Writing Book. The Little Green Grammar Book does for grammar what The Little Red Writing Book did for style. It will have you writing like a writer in no time.
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Penguin Writers Guides How To Write Effective Emails

Author : R. L. Trask
ISBN : 9780141936697
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 39.99 MB
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The Penguin Writers' Guides series provides authoritative, succinct and easy-to-follow guidance on specific aspects of written English. Whether you need to brush up your skills or get to grips with something for the first time, these invaluable Guides will help you find the best way to get your message across clearly and effectively. Many of us are spending more and more time using emails, especially at work. This practical guide steers you through all the basics and 'netiquette' of emailing strangers, business contacts and colleagues: from setting up an email account, presentation and formatting of your emails to how to avoid offensive blunders and the legal issues surrounding this kind of writing. It offers indispensable guidance for simple and direct writing - including cultural differences, appropriate language and common pitfalls - so that your emails give the best possible impression.
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

British Sources Of Information

Author : P. Jackson
ISBN : 9781135794934
Genre : History
File Size : 20.40 MB
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This comprehensive and versatile reference source will be a most important tool for anyone wishing to seek out information on virtually any aspect of British affairs, life and culture. The resources of a detailed bibliography, directory and journals listing are combined in this single volume, forming a unique guide to a multitude of diverse topics - British politics, government, society, literature, thought, arts, economics, history and geography. Academic subjects as taught in British colleges and universities are covered, with extensive reading lists of books and journals and sources of information for each discipline, making this an invaluable manual.
Category: History

Write In Style

Author : Richard Palmer
ISBN : 9781136742491
Genre : Education
File Size : 88.97 MB
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Write in Style is aimed at all for whom clarity and accuracy of expression are important skills. All the main styles and grammaticalrules are covered, their sense axplained and vivid examples given of how not to write. Plenty of sound and meticulous advice is offered in a friendly and enthusiastic toneand a large part of the book covers specific types of writing, from essays and articles to minutes and reportage. The many illustrations, examples and exercises throughout help the reader put into practice the techniques and skillds the book explores.
Category: Education