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Grammar Guru Banishes The Exclamation Mark In New Grammar Bible

Benjamin Dreyer shares his decades of language experience in his new book, "Dryer's English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style."
Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style, by Benjamin Dreyer. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

Benjamin Dreyer (@BCDreyerhas dedicated his life to grammar. As the vice president, executive managing editor and copy chief at Random House, he’s helped dozens of authors fine turn their work. His new book “Dryer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style” shares his decades of language experience. The book is packed with rules, observations, examples, advice, and enough anecdotes to make Dreyer’s English read like a novel. He joins Here & Now‘s Robin Young to talk about the do’s and don’ts of writing.

Book Excerpt: ‘Dryer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style’

By Benjamin Dreyer

I have nothing against rules. They’re indispensable when playing Monopoly or gin rummy, and their observance can go a long way toward improving a ride on the subway. The rule of law? Big fan.

The English language, though, is not so easily ruled and regulated. It developed without codification, sucking up new constructions and vocabulary every time some foreigner set foot on the British Isles—­to say nothing of the mischief we Americans have wreaked on it these last

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