Thursday, May 16, 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.)

1 comment:

Catriona McPherson said...

Tush! You wear the same shade of blue shirts as Hugh Grant. You've *got* style.