Choose The Right Word
We are all interested in words, and are aware of the pitfalls we can encounter when we strive to use them correctly. One answer to this problem is this new book on English usage, complete with its seventy test-yourself questions. If you enjoy the Red Editing Pen series in Writing Magazine, you will certainly enjoy Choose the Right Word (there are distinct similarities).
The book examines most of the common problem words – such as the difference between effect and affect, between imply and infer, even between enquiry and inquiry. But it goes well beyond the simple issue of ‘confusables’ and goes on to discuss such topical questions of usage as the problems of sexist language, the current status of the split infinitive, and many more.
All these usage niceties are discussed in lively style enhanced with such side bars as a series of Curio Corners and Usage Tips. A Curio Corner in the discussion on sexist language, for example, ponders whether manhole covers should now be called maintenance covers.