What to look for in a formal English reference

Subject: What to look for in a formal English reference
From: "Kate Robinson" <KRobinson -at- synergissystems -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 6 May 2003 08:54:44 -0700

I had the battle axe, plus I have the ear (whether I want it or not, and
believe me, sometimes it hurts), plus I have 25 years of experience as a
writer and editor. I love diagramming sentences (although I don't
usually admit that in mixed company). I even appreciate a skillful riff
on the formal theme.

And still, sometimes I want a formal reference either to look something
up for myself or to have an Actual Published Book to point at and say,
"Don't believe me then. Believe this!" I have not been very satisfied
with most references. Most of them appear to have been written by
curmudgeons who had bad toothaches while writing. I just want a
consistent set of grammar rules. Please?

What books do you like for this? What authors? Online or dead trees (and
no, I don't have any opinion on how many trees or who legally owns the
count of them), old or new, well-known or rare -- tell me now.


Senior Technical Writer
voice (425) 774-8717


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