Home » Ambrose Bierces Write It Right: The Celebrated Cynics Language Peeves Deciphered, Appraised, and Annotated for 21st-Century Readers by Ambrose Bierce
Ambrose Bierces Write It Right: The Celebrated Cynics Language Peeves Deciphered, Appraised, and Annotated for 21st-Century Readers Ambrose Bierce

Ambrose Bierces Write It Right: The Celebrated Cynics Language Peeves Deciphered, Appraised, and Annotated for 21st-Century Readers

Ambrose Bierce

Published
ISBN : 9780802717689
Hardcover
240 pages
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 About the Book 

One of Americas foremost language experts presents an annotated edition of A mbrose Bierces classic catalog of correct speech.Ambrose Bierce is best known for The Devils Dictionary, but the prolific journalist, satirist, and fabulist was also aMoreOne of Americas foremost language experts presents an annotated edition of A mbrose Bierces classic catalog of correct speech.Ambrose Bierce is best known for The Devils Dictionary, but the prolific journalist, satirist, and fabulist was also a usage maven. In 1909, he published several hundred of his pet peeves in Write It Right: A Little Blacklist of Literary Faults.Bierces list includes some distinctions still familiar today--the which-that rule, less vs. fewer, lie and lay -- but it also abounds in now-forgotten shibboleths: Ovation, the critics of his time agreed, meant a Roman triumph, not a round of applause. Reliable was an ill-formed coinage, not for the discriminating. Donate was pretentious, jeopardize should be jeopard, demean meant comport oneself, not belittle. And Bierce made up a few peeves of his own for good measure. We should say a coating of paint, he instructed, not a coat.To mark the 100th anniversary of Write It Right, language columnist Jan Freeman has investigated where Bierces rules and taboos originated, how theyve fared in the century since the blacklist, and what lies ahead. Will our language quibbles seem as odd in 2109 as Bierces do today? From the evidence offered here, it looks like a very good bet.