Do You Write? Then Read Dreyer’s English

Do you write emails, blog posts, or books? Or English papers?

Benjamin Dreyer challenges you to go a week without writing these: very, rather, really, quite, in fact, just.

His book’s title, Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style, may make you suspect it is like another lecture from your English teacher. But Dreyer’s entertaining, playful approach will feel more like time with your favorite uncle.

Dreyer, copy chief and managing editor at Random House, presents tips about grammar, punctuation, usage and much more.

What is the best way to judge if your writing is well-constructed? Read it aloud.

Rules are great, but they are meant to be broken. Don’t begin a sentence with “and” or “but.” Avoid contractions in formal writing. No passive voice or sentence fragments. He says there are times when good writers break these rules.

Dreyer believes words are “the flesh, muscle, and bone of prose.” And “punctuation is the breath…a comma sounds different than a semicolon.”

One of my favorite chapters is “The Trimmables,” a long list of redundancies, including “free gift, future plans, absolutely essential.”

Dreyer’s English is fun to read and his examples may make you chuckle while you learn how to improve your writing and editing.

True Nature: New Book From a Favorite Author

Greetings, readers and trail blazers.

I highly recommend a new book by a young author whose first effort was my favorite book of 2020.

David Smart’s True Nature: The Wise Woman in Nepal and Searching the Himalayas for Enlightenment is a captivating story about his adventurous quest that was filled with twists.

His first book is The Trail Provides: A Boy’s Tale of Walking the Pacific Crest Trail. I have read a library full of trekking books and The Trail Provides is the one I couldn’t put down.

Here is the Amazon description of True Nature:

“After receiving a mysterious invitation to train with a spiritual guide in Nepal, David and his monastic friend Bradley leave behind their old lives and embark on a journey to find spiritual enlightenment.

“The two soul searchers find themselves on a madcap trip through the chaotic streets of Kathmandu and the breathtaking peaks of the Himalayas. Along the way, they meet a few friendly nomads, a clever businessman with an enticing offer, and a wise woman who teaches them unexpected lessons about friendship, soulmates, and ultimate liberation.

“Filled with more than 50 photos from David and Bradley’s real-life travels, True Nature is a captivating blend of adventure, spiritual insight, and personal reflection. Whether you’re looking for a companion novel for your own spiritual journey or simply want to escape into a dream-like adventure, start reading True Nature today.”

I would love to hear your thoughts about David’s work.