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About the book
  • Published: 27 May 2015
  • ISBN: 9780241960349
  • Imprint: Penguin General UK
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $26.00

Plain Words


Formats & editions


This classic work is the quintessential guide to writing good clear English. Now updated in a new edition, but with all its original charm, it provides advice on everything from using the semicolon correctly to avoiding clichés and jargon.

'Be short, be simple, be human.'
When Sir Ernest Gowers first wrote Plain Words, it was intended simply as a guide to the proper use of English for the Civil Service. Within a year, however, its humour, charm and authority had made it a bestseller. Since then it has never been out of print.
Six decades on, writer Rebecca Gowers has created a new edition of this now-classic work that both revises and celebrates her great-grandfather's original. Plain Words has been updated to reflect numerous changes in English usage, yet Sir Ernest's distinctive, witty voice is undimmed. And his message remains vital: our writing should be as clear and comprehensible as possible, avoiding superfluous words and clichés - from the jargon of 'commercialese' to the murky euphemisms of politicians.
In a new preface, this edition draws on an extensive private archive, previously hidden away in family cupboards and attics, to tell the story behind a book that has become an institution: the essential guide to making yourself understood.

  • Pub date: 27 May 2015
  • ISBN: 9780241960349
  • Imprint: Penguin General UK
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $26.00

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