Cover image for Plain style : a guide to written English
Title:
Plain style : a guide to written English
Author:
Lasch, Christopher.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press, [2002]

©2002
Physical Description:
121 pages ; 21 cm
Language:
English
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780812236736

9780812218145
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library PE1408 .L3195 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Summary

Summary

"The late Lasch, college history professor and the author of The Culture of Narcissism (1979), among other seminal works, so despaired of his graduate students' writing that he began to compile a list of common compositional errors. This list soon evolved into a full-fledged writing guide. . . . Lasch's wry, distinctive voice is evident throughout."--Joanne Wilkinson, Booklist


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

The late Lasch, college history professor and the author of The Culture of Narcissism (1979), among other seminal works, so despaired of his graduate students' writing that he began to compile a list of common compositional errors. This list soon evolved into a full-fledged writing guide that was published for departmental use. Now, edited and with a long introduction-cum-biography by one of his colleagues, it is being marketed as a shorter, up-to-date alternative to Strunk & White's Elements of Style. The guide is divided into six parts, covering the principles of literary construction; conventions governing punctuation, capitalization, typography, and footnotes; characteristics of bad writing; words often misused; words often mispronounced; and a table of proofreaders' marks. Lasch's wry, distinctive voice is evident throughout and, in parts, will provoke outright laughter. Here's his priceless comment on the word lifestyle: «The appeal of this tired but now ubiquitous phrase probably lies in the suggestion that life is largely a matter of style. Find something else to say about life.» For serious word lovers. Joanne Wilkinson.


Choice Review

Lasch, late American historian (Univ. of Rochester) and author of several books on difficulties in American society, attempted throughout his academic career to provide his students with guidelines for academic writing. This book makes those guidelines available to all. Stewart Weaver's 42-page introduction covers Lasch's career, thoughts on language (which were influenced by George Orwell) and on publications, and the history of this volume. Chapter 1 provides ideas on an acceptable essay using Randolph Bourne's 1915 essay as a sample. The second chapter covers punctuation with particular emphasis on quotation problems. Lasch refers to The Chicago Manual of Style in this chapter and throughout the book. Chapter 3 covers things to avoid in writing; in the introduction to this chapter (and throughout the book) Lasch refers the reader to George Orwell's "Politics and the English Language," William Strunck and E.B. White's The Elements of Style, and Sheridan Baker's The Practical Stylist for more information. The fourth and fifth chapters cover words that are used and pronounced incorrectly. All collections. C. H. McWilliams Austin Peay State University


Table of Contents

Introduction: Christopher Lasch and the Politics of the Plain Style A Note on the Text
I Elementary Principles of Literary Construction
II Conventions Governing Punctuation, Capitalization, Typography, and Footnotes
III Characteristics of Bad Writing
IV Words Often Misused
V Words Often Mispronounced
VI Proofreaders' Marks
Index

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