Benjamin Dreyer is the copy chief at Random House and within the pages Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style he shares his experience with language and editing to anyone who has to write. Now you might be thinking this book isn’t for you, but if you have to literally write anything at all in your lifetime this book will help you out tremendously. While Dreyer argues this can’t be the definitive grammar guide, as no such thing really exists, I would argue that this comes very close to being the only grammar book you’ll need to sound pitch perfect in your prose.
What makes Dreyer’s English such an easy and useful read is Dreyer’s tone throughout the work. Many of you might remember having to suffer through English classes over various courses of your life and listening as someone tried to drill into you the idea of when to use a comma, when not to use a comma, how to spell certain words, or even how to make a list properly. I would bet a number of the people reading this remember sitting in those rooms, but could not for the life of them remember exactly what it was that was droned on about. Dreyer uses a much more upbeat and informal tone which makes what he is sharing much easier to digest and retain. He shares some personal experiences as well as his own thoughts on how the English language is used in America. He even breaks down how American English and British English are different and when American writers can use English words and when they can’t. This section made me smile, primarily because I am one of those people with a very strong opinion on the use of the word grey and I refuse to spell it any other way.
Dreyer wants his reader to understand what he is talking about and he wants to make the experience enjoyable. There is so much levity in this book that at a certain point I felt as though I were reading a novel and not a writing guide. This is remarkably high praise from someone who has had to read a few writing guides in her time. While I read the book in one sitting it is also a useful tool for reading as needed. You could select certain sections and focus on those elements or look over something that you know you are struggling with in your writing. Dreyer’s English makes learning how to improve your writing enjoyable and for that I am recommending that everyone check it out. You can purchase your copy of Dreyer’s English, and save yourself from grammatical errors, today!