'The belief that and should not be used to begin a sentence is without foundation. And that's all there is to it.'
What is the difference between mean and median, blatant and flagrant, flout and flaunt? Is it a whodunnit or whodunit? Do you know? Are you sure?
With Troublesome Words journalist and bestselling travel-writer Bill Bryson gives us a clear, concise and entertaining guide to problems of English usage and spelling. Originally published as The Penguin Dictionary of Troublesome Words, it has been an indispensable companion to those who work with the written word for over twenty years. So if you want to discover whether you should care about split infinitives, are cursed with an uncontrollable outbreak of commas or were wondering if that newsreader was right to say 'an historic day', this superb book is the place to find out.
'Barbecue is the only acceptable spelling in serious writing. Any journalist or other formal user of English who believes that the word is spelled barbeque or, worse still, bar-b-q is not ready for unsupervised employment.'
Pick up the companion explaining the story of English: