Books on the English Language

dictionary

July 11, 2022

421. Books on writing systems, phonology, and phonetics

Further Reading:

James F. Bender NBC Handbook of Pronunciation, 1964.

James F. Bender shares the pronunciations of over 21,000 words using a simple system that can be comprehended at a glance.

422. Books on the etymology of standard English

William and Mary Morris Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins, 1958.

The Morrises one-volume work was revised in1988 to cover even more entries. They share stories of how these words and phrases came to be a part of our common language.

423. Dictionaries of Standard English

Jerome Irving Rodale, ed. The Synonym Finder, 1979.

First published in 1961 by the founder of Rodale Press, this thesaurus is arranged alphabetically and aims to give practical replacements for words. It also has subsections for parts of speech.

Webster’s Collegiate Dictionaries, 1963.

Merriam-Webster’s dictionaries can be found in print and online, either free or by subscription. While it tends toward a descriptive approach to language, it provides a quarter of a million definitions, and geographical and biographical sections, in addition to a style handbook.

428. Books on standard English usage

Ward Gilman, ed. Webster’s Dictionary of English Usage, 1994.

While it’s a bit dated at this point, this volume still provides solid advice on issues such as which is better, alright, or all right? Not only does it provide alphabetical lists of words like these, with cross-references, but there are also articles to help you write correctly.

John I. Liontas TESOL Encyclopedia of English Language Teaching, 2019. (11 vols.)

Editor John I Liontas’s reference work is international in scope and is considered the definitive guide for teaching English anywhere to anyone. It contains over 750 entries written by practitioners and scholars in the field.

Lynne Truss Eats, Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation, 2003.

Lynn Truss’s entertaining examination of punctuation and why it is still essential has become a classic. Please note that Truss is British, and some of her advice does not apply to American English, which follows different rules in certain circumstances.

For more information on the Further Reading series, see Further Reading: Start Here.

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