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A Dictionary of Modern English Usage: The Classic First Edition [Format Kindle]

H. W. Fowler , David Crystal

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

The classic fist edition with an acute new introduction. (New York Times Book Review)

It is a volume that everyone who aspires to a better command of English should possess and consult. (New York Times Book Review)

Présentation de l'éditeur

No book had more influence on twentieth-century attitudes to the English language in Britain than Henry Fowler's Dictionary of Modern English Usage. It rapidly became the standard work of reference for the correct use of English in terms of choice of words, grammar, and style. Much loved for his firm opinions, passion, and dry humour, Fowler has stood the test of time and is still considered the best arbiter of good practice. Now one of today's leading experts on the
language, David Crystal, has reassessed Fowler's contribution in this fascinating new edition.

Crystal goes beyond the popular mythology surrounding Fowler's reputation to retrace his method and practice and arrive at a fresh evaluation of his place in the history of linguistic thought. With a wealth of entertaining examples he looks at Fowler's stated principles and the tensions between his prescriptive and descriptive temperaments. He reaches some surprising conclusions and shows that the Dictionary does a great deal more than make normative recommendations and express
private opinions. In addition he offers a modern perspective in notes on some 300 entries, in which he shows how English has changed since the 1920s, including the pronunciation of certain words.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 2502 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 823 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 019958589X
  • Editeur : OUP Oxford; Édition : Reissue (10 septembre 2009)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Word Wise: Non activé
  • Composition améliorée: Non activé
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°211.421 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)

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Amazon.com: 3.7 étoiles sur 5  28 commentaires
87 internautes sur 90 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 they went back one too far 7 janvier 2010
Par Caraculiambro - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Here's the deal with Fowler's.

1926: First irascible version of Fowler's "Dictionary of Modern English Usage" published. Owing to the author's idiosyncrasies and clear-headed prescriptions, it earns a place on every writer's shelf.

1965: An new edition comes out, edited by Sir Ernest Gowers. Most people believe Gowers only brought the language up-to-date where absolutely necessary, keeping the spirit of the original intact. In other words, this revision was hailed as welcome and necessary.

1996: Massive overhaul of the text published, edited by the famous Robert W. Burchfield. Burchfield thoroughly changes the language and even the spirit of Fowler's original, resulting in a book that is much more observational than prescriptional. Much of what made the original beloved was excised.

2009: David Crystal digs up the 1926 edition, reprints it, and writes a big honkin' essay at the end, (almost needlessly) justifying the resuscitation of the original.

Thus what we have is generally thought to be superior to the 1996 edition, but I think most writers and editors would have been happy to do without Crystal's contributions and simply had Oxford University Press flood the world with a bunch of reprints of the 1965 edition, which, since that's the one everybody seems to want, is becoming danged hard to find.
18 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Fowler Reborn 11 février 2010
Par Edwin F. Stevens - Publié sur Amazon.com
Inspired by my acquisition of Fowler's "A Dictionary of Modern English Usage: The Classic First Edition," I have now embarked on reading it from cover to cover. Up to now, I have randomly read, in tattered volumes, a lot of the first edition, but not the entire, delightful work -- with all its captivating obscurities, clarities, inconsistencies, insights, and sly humor.

Much as I admire Fowler, I know this will not be an easy exercise.

Even other admirers, far better language experts than I, warn of difficulties ahead:

For example, here is admirer Sir Ernest Gowers, the first reviser of "Modern English Usage" in 1965:

"What is the secret of [the book's] success? It is not that all Fowler's opinions are unchallengeable. Many have been challenged. It is not that he is always easy reading. At his best he is incomparable. But he never forgot what he calls 'that pestilent fellow the critical reader' who is 'not satisfied with catching the general drift and obvious intention of a sentence' but insists that 'the words used must ... actually yield on scrutiny the desired sense.' There are some passages that only yield it after what the reader may think an excessive amount of scrutiny -- passages demanding hardly less concentration than one of the more obscure sections of a Finance Act, and for the same reason: the determination of the writer to make sure that, when the reader eventually gropes his way to a meaning, it shall be, beyond all possible doubt, the meaning intended by the writer."

Even worse, nonadmirer Brendan Gill, in "Here at The New Yorker,'" savages Harold W. Ross, founder and first editor of the magazine, for his Fowler idolatry:

"[Ross] had the uneducated man's suspicion of the fickleness of words; he wanted them to have a limited, immutable meaning, but the sons of bitches kept hopping about from one sentence to the next. Ross was a foul-tongued man and he used curse-words to curse words. Nor were the goddam dictionaries the allies he thought they ought to be; they nearly always betrayed him by granting a word several definitions, some of which were maddeningly at odds with others. That was why Ross fell back with such relish upon Fowler's "Modern English Usage" -- the work of a petty tyrant, who imposed idiosyncrasies by fiat. Ross was awed by Fowler; he would have liked to hold the whip hand over words and syntax as Fowler did."

Randomized as my previous reading of "Modern English Usage" is, I still recognize how wrong-headed, and -hearted, Gill is about Fowler. Far from being Gill's "petty tyrant," Fowler often displays a linguist's knowledge and open-mindedness to complement his prescriptive tendencies. Perhaps most important, Fowler, apparently a modest soul, also displays many flashes of subtle, self-deprecating humor that help urge a reader on through even the densest entries in "Modern English Usage."

No wonder linguist David Crystal, in his fair-minded and thoughtful introduction to "The Classic First Edition," insists that only a full reading of the book does it -- and its author -- justice:

" ... to arrive at a balanced assessment of Fowler's contribution to the linguistic history of ideas, we need to retrace his method and his practice as fully as we can. Reading every word of Fowler [in "Modern English Usage"] is an enthralling, if often exhausting experience, but it enables us to go beyond the popular mythology and get a better sense of the intriguing personality and linguistic genius of this remarkable lexicographer."
23 internautes sur 24 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The REAL Fowler, with only one misprinted page 30 décembre 2009
Par Ian Gilbert - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Fowler's strong and often cranky opinions are all here, expressed in his elegant prose. Notes and other material by David Crystal are all interesting; as always, Crystal knows what he's talking about when he talks about the English language.

The main text of this reprint is an exact copy of my worn, brittle original, except that the new edition ends with the penultimate page, page 741. Page 742 is entirely blank, depriving the reader of Fowler's final entries for "Z", about two-thirds of a page. It looks as though some summer intern or apprentice printer thought that the page had to be blank because it precedes a section of David Crystal's new material.

The book is still entirely worthwhile even without the missing page. One can only wonder what Fowler (and Oxford's printers of yore) would say about the error.
12 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 A reprint of the 1926 edition with additions. 29 mai 2011
Par Richard H. Cady - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
A little disappointing as it turns out to be an exact reprint of the Oxford University Press edition of 1926 (the US edition was in 1944). Granted it has added a useful historical 26 page introduction and some 50 pages of interesting notes at the end by David Crystal. These additions actually make this edition worth buying. Even if you own a copy of the earlier printing as I do. Alas, as is all to often these days, I can open my 1950 edition and it STAYS OPEN.Thus making it easy to read and refer to ... I open this new edition and it shuts - closes on its own. Bad binding? Pages cut too tight. To thick a paper stock? Aggravating in the extreme. Particularly in a reference book! Shame on you, Oxford University Press!

Richard Cady

Richard Cady Rare Books
8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Small 9 janvier 2011
Par Jerry - Publié sur Amazon.com
Fowler's arguments are impeccable but a huge complaint is that the print is tiny, and the binding is uncomfortably cramped for the huge amount of the content. The next edition should come out with a larger sized paper and the annotations right beneath Fowler's own entries.
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