If Strunk and White is a subtle and respectable Merlot, Dreyer’s English is a Cosmopolitan: light, witty, and slightly pink. Reading this style guide is like going to party with your snarky friend to critique everyone from the bar. Dreyer makes you feel like part of the in-crowd, while schooling you on proper writing style. Instead of the mentoring tone of previous style guides, this one provides a series of fabulous and clear suggestions with a running erudite comedy in the footnotes.

You may think saying a style guide is comedic is going too far, but while I was reading it, my kids came in to ask why I was laughing so hard. I picked it up after I had submitted my R01 for mentor feedback, and it was a delight to be reminded others also struggle with corralling difficult phrases into concise sentences. With my next set of R01 revisions, I was refreshed and able to excise extraneous words with new fervor.

I bought the book in hardback; honestly, it was worth it.  If you haven’t already started a collection of books on writing, you may want to borrow it from the library. It’s a delightful read. The book size and paper thickness of the first edition made me feel scholarly with each flip. I moved through his examples while eagerly awaiting his next famous-writer name drop.  His racy examples make the rules stick in your memory. After a few chapters you will never again use the word ‘really’ in text. Grab a cup of tea, or your favorite mixed drink, find a spot where your laughing won’t disturb others, and enjoy.

Additional Resources

Edge Writing Resources Roundup

Practical Writing Advice from a Writing Teacher

Want to live on the Edge?


Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Saving subscription status...

1 Comment
Helen Bird says:

I have never been so excited about a style guide before! I just ordered this book.

You May Also Like