12 December 2005

Writer's Style Guides

Oxford University Press have just repurposed their most famous guiance manuals for writers, editors, and anybody else who is interested in the preparation of text for publication - in print or on screen. Even if you're a weekend writer or a would-be author, you will learn a lot about the finer points of style, typographical consistency, and good writing practice from what they have to offer. All of it is based on an encyclopedic database of publishing history and linguistic research at Oxford University - so it is a well-established and authoritative source.

New Hart's Rules is their classic style guide for writers. It was originally compiled for compositors at the Oxford University Press, but has gone on through an astonishing and ever-expanding thirty-nine editions to be the standard manual on preparing text for publication. The latest edition has been extended to twice its original size. There's everything from spelling, punctuation, and the layout of scientific writing, to a full account of proof-reading and correcting a text. FULL REVIEW HERE

The New Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors is compendium of difficult, ambiguous, and problemmatic terms, with guidance on how they should be presented typographically. This includes such matters as which names. places, and organisations require capital letters, and how to hyphenate word breaks. FULL REVIEW HERE

The third volume in this reference trilogy is the New Oxford Spelling Dictionary. This is another ingenious compilation which removes all non-problematic words and shows how to spell those (such as yoghurt and judgement) where there is doubt .It also provides guidance on the spelling in English of foreign terms such as danses macabres and medaillon. FULL REVIEW HERE

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