Manual Labor

Writing guides, grammar books, punctuation how-tos . . . do you read them? Not read them? How many writing books, grammar books, dictionaries–if any–do you have in your library?
Being a language geek, I have a few grammar guides–not just for English, but for a few other languages, too, like German, Russian, Spanish, and French.  Since I’ve done a little academic writing, I have style manuals I used for those papers, and I also have style manuals for the writing I do in my day job as an attorney.  It’s pretty amazing how varied “standard” is across disciplines.  My wife and I also brought quite a few reference books to the marriage–atlases, almanacs, thesauri, books of quotations, and dictionaries–though with regards to the last, we do have different favorites.  She prefers Webster’s while I prefer American Heritage.  And somehow, we manage to make the marriage work.


3 thoughts on “Manual Labor

  1. Rebecca May 8, 2008 / 3:22 pm

    I think we all have a favorite dictionary somewhere along the line–and it all goes back to which one we were told to use. My editing internship in college told me to use M-W and so when I went to my first proofreading job post college, I asked my boss if I could rely on M-W. She really didn’t care and there we had it.

  2. Matthew May 8, 2008 / 3:30 pm

    One of the reasons I like American Heritage is because of the glossary of Indo-European roots in the appendix, which I freely admit to geeking out over.

  3. Lesley May 9, 2008 / 7:22 am

    I like the sound of that Am. Heritage dictionary – I like to pore over words as well.

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