Posted by: Corri van de Stege | October 2, 2009

Style and words

I love these style books, you know the ones, they are variously called ‘Bryson’s Dictionary for Witers and Editors’, ‘How to Write’ (the Guardian) and ‘Guardian Style Guide’.  I have them lying around the house, on my table in my workroom, in the bathroom and sometimes in the kitchen.  Then, I just open one and look at what I find and there is always something that is interesting.

What’s the difference between elegy and eulogy, of course you know, but it does make you think for a minute.  Then the words ’embarrass’ and ’embarrassment’ – ‘both are misspelled more often than they should be,’ says Bryson. 

How to write‘How to write’ a book with advice from the Guardian – in six short chapters it advises you how to write fiction, books for children, memoir and biography, journalism, plays and screenplays and comedy.  If only it was so easy! 

But having these books around is comforting, they give you the illussion that not all is lost , there is so much help around and as long as I keep these books within reach then I’m moving forward…  Mind you, they are fun.  Did you know that the Thai name for Bangkok is Krung Thep?  Or that an incunabulum is a book printed at an early date (before 1501)?  I did not.   But now I do.

Bryson's Dictionary_



  1. Bryson’s book sounds interesting, handy to own. Thanks for your post.

  2. Incunabula : Latin for nappies.

    I’ve also done my homework. Those were the books made from the invention of printing until early in the XVI century.

    You make me study, Seachanges. Thank you.

  3. Those style books are very useful (and fun apparently). I didn’t realise Bryson was so prolific.

  4. Glad you’re all enjoying these style books. They are fun to have around…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: