It has never been out of print. The aim of the book is to help officials in their use of English as a tool of their trade. To keep the work relevant for readers in subsequent decades it has been revised by Sir Bruce Fraser in , by Sidney Greenbaum and Janet Whitcut in , and by the original author's great-granddaughter Rebecca Gowers in The most recent is issued by an imprint of Penguin Books. The association of wordiness with bureaucracy has a long history. In the 14th century Geoffrey Chaucer , a prominent civil servant as well as a poet, urged the use of straightforward writing.
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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.
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.
Rebecca Gowers has been charged with the task of producing a version which is true to the spirit of the original but adapted to the needs of the 21st century. She discharges this task with wit and delicacy. Gowers's main precepts are as sensible today as they were when he first presented them Over half a century after Plain Words was first published, its principles are as important as ever: say what you mean in the clearest possible fashion.
Rebecca Gowers has done a great job One thing that makes Gowers such an engaging figure is that he isn't prissy, priggish or prim. As far as he is concerned, language is a living thing that is constantly changing - and this is just as it should be.
Still the best book on English and how to write it Unhappy with versions rewritten by others, Rebecca Gowers, Sir Ernest's great-granddaughter, has produced a new edition The result is splendid Gowers wrote with wit, humanity and common sense The book has been modernized but preserves all its original charm There is arguably a greater need for its circulation among the general public [than ever before].
She is also the most recent editor of Plain Words, the classic guide to the use of English by her great-grandfather Sir Ernest Gowers. Sir Ernest Gowers was born in , and became a leading civil servant. He ran the civil defence of London during the Second World War, chaired the Royal Commission into Capital Punishment whose report contributed significantly to ending the death penalty in Britain, wrote the bestseller, Plain Words, and later became the first editor of H.
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The Complete Plain Words
Graff, The Modern Researcher. For those who must write to get their work done— businessmen and women, students, teachers and librarians; civil servants who have to compose regulations, letters on government business, even signs for public buildings, airports and highways; anyone, in fact, who must be able to put sentences together to make clear a set of facts, requirements or proposals to these busy people, The Complete Plain Words is a necessary companion. It is a proven, trustworthy guide to achieving an accessible style, to say what needs to be said clearly, succinctly, and correctly in whatever they must write day in and day out. When such guides work well, and Gowers is one that works and reads very well, they acquire a force and authority that keep the language clear, flexible and responsive to the constant pressure of the workaday world. In Gowers, a senior British civil servant, was asked by the Treasury to write a book that would improve the written work of government workers in every department.
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Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support? 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 cliches - from the jargon of 'commercialese' to the murky euphemisms of politicians.