I’ve been writing for as long as I could hold a crayon. So you’d think by now, especially since I announced to everyone at the age of three that I’d grow up to write books, I’d have an unfailing command of grammar and mechanics. I have a very good command of grammar and mechanics, but it is by no means unfailing. To compensate, I have a small stack of grammar and mechanics books that I refer to often. The language in them is clean and beautiful, and I wonder if I will ever absorb enough to write as beautifully clean someday. Maybe not. But it’s a nice goal anyway.
Here they are from top to bottom:
Lunne Truss’s Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
Strunk & White & Kalman’s The Illustrated Elements of Style (I also have a regular un-illustrated one, but this one’s so much more pretty!)
The University of Chicago Press The Chicago Manual of Style 14th Edition (this is the mac-daddy of copyediting guides.)
Karen Elizabeth Gordon’s The Deluxe Transitive Vampire: The Ultimate Handbook of Grammar for the Innocent, the Eager, and the Doomed
(Hmm, there are a lot of red books in this collection. Were they unconscious or purposeful choices?)
So… am I missing any good ones?