F. Scott Fitzgerald was a notoriously poor speller; it's one of those endearing details of the legend of a great writer. But none of us are Fitzgeralds, so to work on the mechanics of your writing, you can get started with Bryson's Dictionary for Writers and Editors, which Broadway Books is set to publish this month by bestselling author Bill Bryson.I went to Bryson's site to read more about the book:
Among such blind spots are those traps familiar to anyone writing about literature (it's Stephen Dedalus, not Daedalus) or about medicine (it's Down syndrome, not Down's syndrome). There are also plenty of words that writers misapply: "crass," for instance, isn't just tasteless — it's "stupid and grossly ignorant to the point of insensitivity." "A thing must be pretty bad to be crass," Bryson writes. "Enormity" doesn't refer to size but to the wickedness of something. I'm guilty of misusing that one.
What is the difference between “immanent” and “imminent”? What is the singular form of graffiti? What is the difference between “acute” and “chronic”? What is the former name of “Moldova”? What is the difference between a cardinal number and an ordinal number? One of the English language's most skilled writers answers these and many other questions and guides us all toward precise, mistake-free usage.Hmm. I know the difference between cardinal and ordinal, and the singular form of graffiti (graffito), but I didn't know that "immanent" was even a real word, and it seems I've been misusing enormity all my life. This sounds like a useful and fun reference volume (and the best reference books are always both useful and fun).