Simply English

Simply English: An A-Z of Avoidable Errors is Simon Heffer’s second book on grammar.

It is a very interesting read. Approximately half the content I already knew, but it was a good refresher on that. Other issues it clarified or corrected me on. It literally is an A to Z of words and how they should be used correctly, and how they are often misused.

He frequently talks about the pedants. A group that he does not seem to include himself in. This seems strange given he has written two books on grammar. I agree that it was a sorry mistake for a leading national newspaper to misspell blackguard, but cataloging the date on which it was published strikes me as obsessive.

He does approve of the verb ‘to text’ though. I am glad, because as Heffer correctly points out, there can be little rational objection to it. However, he does like to reminder the reader on a regular basis that he is down with it.

Some of the content is rather elitist. Formally addressing a baron, for example. Am I ever going to use that? It feels like space that could have been put to better use. There was no entry on ‘troll’ for example, even though people frequently use the verb incorrectly.

I think the book will have a positive impact on my use of English. I have learnt some things already, and see it as a valuable reference for when I am writing in the future.




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This entry was posted on Monday, November 30th, 2015 at 10:09 am and is filed under Books. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.