> Skip to content
About the book
  • Published: 1 June 2010
  • ISBN: 9781407094397
  • Imprint: Transworld Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 464

Bryson's Dictionary: for Writers and Editors




A very personal reference tool from the desk of bestselling author Bill Bryson.

What is the difference between cant and jargon, or assume and presume? What is a fandango? How do you spell supersede? Is it hippy or hippie?

These questions really matter to Bill Bryson, as they do to anyone who cares about the English language. Originally published as The Penguin Dictionary for Writers and Editors, Bryson's Dictionary for Writers and Editors has now been completely revised and updated for the twenty-first century by Bill Bryson himself. Here is a very personal selection of spellings and usages, covering such head-scratchers as capitalization, plurals, abbreviations and foreign names and phrases. Bryson also gives us the difference between British and American usages, and miscellaneous pieces of essential information you never knew you needed, like the names of all the Oxford colleges, or the correct spelling of Brobdingnag.

An indispensable companion to all those who write, work with the written word, or who just enjoy getting things right, it gives rulings that are both authoritative and commonsense,all in Bryson's own inimitably goodhumoured way.

  • Pub date: 1 June 2010
  • ISBN: 9781407094397
  • Imprint: Transworld Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 464

About the Author

Bill Bryson

Bill Bryson was born in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1951. His bestselling books include The Road to Little Dribbling, Notes from a Small Island, A Walk in the Woods, One Summer and The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid. In a national poll, Notes from a Small Island was voted the book that best represents Britain. His acclaimed work of popular science, A Short History of Nearly Everything, won the Aventis Prize and the Descartes Prize, and was the biggest selling non-fiction book of its decade in the UK. His new book The Body: A Guide for Occupants is an extraordinary exploration of the human body which will have you marvelling at the form you occupy.
Bill Bryson was Chancellor of Durham University 2005–2011. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society. He lives in England.

Also by Bill Bryson

See all

Praise for Bryson's Dictionary: for Writers and Editors

“Sensible advice... Bryson is against pomposity and in favour of clarity and brevity... His pet hates are particularly well judged, by which I mean they are mine too. Time and again, I found myself cheering him on... Evelyn Waugh would find much to surprise and please him here... provides plenty of ammunition for anoraky one-upmanship”

Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday

“Now your favourite transplanted American (and mine) has ventured into the field of Linguistic Guidance for Limeys... Language lovers - of every stripe and creed - should raise three cheers.... clear out your linguistic cobwebs, with the help of Bill Bryson”

Erica Wagner, The Times

“As a newspaper sub-editor myself (Bryson's original trade), I've read this guide to spelling, grammar and usage from front to back and have to say one thing. It's brilliant. It should be on the shelf of anyone aspiring to make a living using the English language... the best book of its type yet written”

Daily Mail


Related titles