Few people can write on the English language with the authority of Bryan A. Garner. The author of The Chicago Manual of Style’s popular “Grammar and Usage” chapter, Garner explains the vagaries of English with absolute precision and utmost clarity. With The Chicago Guide to Grammar, Usage, and Punctuation, he has written the definitive guide for writers who want their prose to be both memorable and correct.
Throughout the book Garner describes standard literary English—the forms that mark writers and speakers as educated users of the language. He also offers historical context for understanding the development of these forms. The section on grammar explains how the canonical parts of speech came to be identified, while the section on syntax covers the nuances of sentence patterns as well as both traditional sentence diagramming and transformational grammar. The usage section provides an unprecedented trove of empirical evidence in the form of Google Ngrams, diagrams that illustrate the changing prevalence of specific terms over decades and even centuries of English literature. Garner also treats punctuation and word formation, and concludes the book with an exhaustive glossary of grammatical terms and a bibliography of suggested further reading and references.
The Chicago Guide to Grammar, Usage, and Punctuation is a magisterial work, the culmination of Garner’s lifelong study of the English language. The result is a landmark resource that will offer clear guidelines to students, writers, and editors alike.