Sunday, 14 March 2010

Henry Watson Fowler and his effect on writers

Fowler wrote the Dictionary of Modern English Usage, published in 1926.  My English teacher swore by it, rather than at it and all our grammar mistakes were referred back to Fowler as the gold standard.

Despite it being from a different time and style of writing, some of his teaching is as valid today as ever.  For example:

'Prefer the familiar word to the far-fetched. Prefer the concrete word to the abstract. Prefer the single word to the circumlocution. Prefer the short word to the long. Prefer the Saxon word to the Romance.'

Amen to all of that.

No comments:

Post a Comment