Writing with Precision: How to Write So That You Cannot Possibly Be Misunderstood

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9780140288537: Writing with Precision: How to Write So That You Cannot Possibly Be Misunderstood

One of the most popular and respected style guides ever written, this handbook by a seasoned writer with more than forty years of experience offers ten principles and seven axioms that professional writers use to express their thoughts clearly and effectively. This latest edition is expanded to include an extensive glossary of American idiomatic expressions, developed to assist users from other backgrounds and cultures; new chapters with tips on little-known facts of usage, such as compound words, hyphenation, numeration, and capitalization; and explanations of technical problems encountered in writing and editing with tips and exercises to help solve them. For anyone faced with the challenges of written English, Writing with Precision can help readers write more clearly, more effectively, and more precisely than they ever have.

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Review:

"If you write for a living," says Jefferson D. Bates in Writing with Precision, "this book is probably not for you." But if what you do for a living involves writing, then this book can help you do so "clearly, concisely, and PRECISELY." Bates is fond of italics, boldface, CAPS, exclamations!, quirky footnotes, and the word crotchet. He's over 80. He's been editorial director of the U.S. Air Force's Effective Writing Program and a chief speechwriter for NASA. The cornerstone of his campaign is the elimination of bureaucratese and jargon. Writing with Precision, originally published in 1978, is divided into four parts: writing (mainly letters, memos, instructions, regulations, and reports), editing (mostly copyediting), usage, and exercises. There is a definite personality behind this readable, conversational book. It's mostly updated, though a little checking by Bates could have prevented the reference to some books as being "probably out of print now."

About the Author:

Jefferson D. Bates has served as Editorial Director of the Air Force "Readable Writing" Program, and as the Chief of NASA's speechwriting group. After leaving government service, he became president and CEO of Speak/Write Systems, Inc., a firm specializing in teaching writing and speaking skills. The author of five nonfiction books, he lives in Reston, Virginia.

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