Bugs In Writing
presents 150 descriptive
(rather than prescriptive
) principles about debugging your writing. She presents each principle in a problem/solution format with plenty of examples. The book is lucidly written and fun too.
Lyn Dupre is an editor at AddisonWesley
who frequently works with authors such as DonKnuth
I just started to read this book and I am already hooked. Any more comments on the book? -- ToddCoram
Based on Todd's recommendation above, I picked up BugsInWriting
last week. After reading the first dozen "chapters", I heartily second his recommendation. BugsInWriting
gets at some thorny (and non-obvious) issues in technical writing in a way that is both precise and fun. It goes well beyond the "how to prepare a technical manuscript" genre, with principles that can easily be applied to much of our day-to-day written communication. -- DaveSmith
Postscript: Well, make that a slightly-less-than-hearty, but still positive, recommendation. A few of the examples seem contradictory or unclear, and the author's tone occasionally borders on preachy, but BugsInWriting
has made it onto my "keep within easy reach" list.
It's a good book in many ways, oddly split between usage examples and "how-to"s for technical writers. My wife (a devotee of copyediting) has already found a few mistakes/misconceptions in usage recommendations (e.g. the discussion of split infinitives), but feels the book is generally sound.
Personally, I'd have preferred more of the "how-to" information and less usage information, but then I have my wife and her collection of usage guides as a resource. [She will answer any usage question at a low, low price of $40/hr, or a portion of one of her favorite meals. Cajun food can be sent to:....]
-- Ken Meltsner