Garner on Language & Writing

The nation’s foremost expert on writing, style, and usage, Bryan Garner, now collects his finest essays on writing, language, and style, in this massive anthology. These articles run the gamut from advice for beginning writers, to essays on writing successfully as a professional. Also included are hilarious chapters on puns, curiosities, vocabulary use, and other comical writing escapades. Further chapters contain solid advice on making oneself a great writer, grammarian, and stylist. It’s perfect for anyone who works with the written word.

Some have called Garner a controversialist, and he doesn’t shrink from controversy here: he takes aim at legal academia, at word-bungling law reviews, at writers who interlard their writing with overlong citations, at judges who use extremely arcane words for little or no reason, and at the many conventions that tend to mire legal writing in perpetual mediocrity.

There are moving tributes to Professor Charles Alan Wright, Judge Thomas Gibbs Gee, and Sir Robert Megarry (whose last book Garner finished). There are piquant book reviews that damn the work of some famous writers, such as Lynne Truss (Eats, Shoots & Leaves) and the linguist Stephen Pinker, as well as enthusiastic recommendations of books that Garner finds meritorious.

In the final chapter, Garner recommends sources on language and writing. This one-of-a-kind bibliography guides readers to seminal texts in virtually every language-related field, from brief-writing to playwriting to poetry to linguistics to general semantics.

In her foreword, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg declares the book to be “a ‘must read’ primer” for her law clerks. Anyone with a lively interest in language, writing, and law will find this book hard to lay aside.

Scroll to Top