Benjamin Dreyer

Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style
  • Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style

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    'An utterly delightful book to read, Dreyer's English will stand among the classics on how to use the English language properly.' ELIZABETH STROUT

    'A complete joy. Wise, funny, no-nonsense, stylish and brilliantly practical.’ RACHEL JOYCE
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    An indispensable, New York Times-bestselling guide to the craft of writing from Random House’s long-time copy chief and one of Twitter’s leading language gurus.

    We all write, all the time: books, blogs, tweets, emails, emails, 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 playfully, brilliantly deconstructing the English language. Dreyer's English is the distillation of everything he has learned from copyediting thousands of books, the perfect guide not just for writers but for everyone who wants to put their best prose foot forward.

    Both authoritative and amusing, Dreyer’s English offers lessons on punctuation, from the underloved semicolon to the enigmatic en-dash; the rules and non-rules 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'.

    And yes: 'Only godless savages eschew the Oxford comma.'

    Stuffed with 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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    This book is written in British English.
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    'The best stocking filler/universal pleaser is the wonderful Dreyer’s English.' NIGELLA LAWSON, SUNDAY TIMES

    'Benjamin Dreyer's brilliant, pithy, incandescently intelligent book is to contemporary writing what Geoffrey Chaucer's poetry was to medieval English' JON MEACHAM

    'A fascinating guide to grammatical ‘rights’ and ‘wrongs’ - practical and useful' SEBASTIAN FAULKS, SUNDAY TIMES

    ‘Witty and piquant […] full of jokes – and equally full of deliciously deprecating footnotes.’ JEWISH CHRONICLE

    'Destined to become a classic.' THE MILLIONS

    'A mind-blower--sure to jumpstart any writing project, just by exposing you, the writer, to Dreyer's astonishing level of sentence-awareness.' GEORGE SAUNDERS, author of Lincoln in the Bardo

    'Benjamin Dreyer is wise and bitterly experienced and fantastically good company' TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT

    'It is Benjamin Dreyer's intense love for the English language and his passion for the subject that make the experience of reading Dreyer's English such a pleasure' AYELET WALDMAN & MICHAEL CHABON

    'An informative and entertaining handbook on how to write clearer English. It’s pithy, witty and a near perfect example of the kind of writing it advocates' STING (yes, Sting from The Police)

    'This work is that rare writing handbook that writers might actually want to read straight through, rather than simply consult.' PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

    'As witty and pragmatic a stylebook as I’ve read: wan and wise.' SAM LEITH, TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT Books of the Year

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 uncollected work by Shirley Jackson. A graduate of Northwestern University, he lives in New York City.