|Home||Who we are||Why you need us||What we do||What our clients say about us|
|How it works||What it costs||How to contact us||Resources|
A few helpful resources
by Mike McCoy
WriteRight Editing© is ready and willing to help you produce clear, effective documents in English.
But you may like to try doing it yourself, at first. Here are some resources that I have found useful, illuminating, or just plain entertaining.
Some good books . . .
- The South African Concise Oxford Dictionary. Cape Town: Oxford University Press Southern Africa, 2003. A good dictionary is an essential tool. This is the one I use because it is just right for where I live. Besides, I like to support my big sister, who works on the staff of the Oxford English Dictionary. (No, that's not 'nepotism' look it up.)
- The New Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005. This is promoted as "the essential A-Z guide to the written word". It certainly is a very handy resource for checking the spelling or best usage of words that we often get wrong.
- Martin Cutts, Oxford Quick Reference Plain English guide. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999. If you buy only one book about using English well, this is it.
- Bill Bryson, Mother tongue: The English language. London: Penguin Books, 1991. If you liked Bill Bryson's books about England, the USA, Australia, and the history of almost everything, you'll really enjoy this one, written before he became so well-known. It's a gem: sometimes risqué, often hilarious, always informative.
- David Crystal, Who cares about English usage? London: Penguin Books, 2000 (second edition). The cover describes this as "an entertaining guide to the common problems of English usage". It is. It's also short and to the point.
- John Simmons, We, me, them, it: The power of words in business. London: Texere Publishing, 2000. This book doesn't entertain and amuse as Bill Bryson's and David Crystal's do. But it is very well-written, and gives valuable insight into the way that written and spoken language affects how people in the corporate world communicate with their clients and among themselves. In fact, it's also about being human. It's personal, filled with case studies, and often quite moving.
- Melvyn Bragg, The adventure of English: The biography of a language. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2003. The omniscient Melvyn Bragg did a series of programmes on the history of English for ITV in the UK; this book is his adaptation and expansion of that material. It covers similar ground to that surveyed by Bill Bryson, but in more detail and with its own distinctive humour and insight. It's a very good read.
All the books should be available from good bookshops. Because I live in South Africa, I usually get mine online through www.loot.co.za, which I recommend highly – follow the link below.
A radio programme (if you live in South Africa). . .
- "Word of mouth" the English language programme, broadcast on SAfm on Sundays between 13:30 and 14:00. Chaired by John Orr. Essential listening for anyone who's interested in contemporary English, given the fascinatingly diverse ways it is spoken and written in South Africa..
And a real live person . . .
If you need a professional to write your corporate document, contact Graham Jones at The Company Writers in the UK. He writes annual reports, speeches, brochures, websites and all company communications. His clients include many of the FTSE's top 100 companies.
Graham and I have known each other for more than 25 years. So I'm very happy to endorse his work.
© WriteRight Editing 2006
Last updated 31 May 2006
Design by Cyril Pink Frog WTP