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An editor’s trinity: Oxford Writers’ Reference « Cardiff Book History

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Having done a fair bit of editing over the last decade, of myself, of others’ contributions and of scholarly editions, it was with unalloyed delight that I recently discovered a trio of invaluable reference books that make the job of handling scholarly writing a great deal easier. These three works—New Hart’s Rules, the New Oxford Spelling Dictionary and the New Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors—are an absolute treasure trove of useful pointers, guidelines and clarifications. Quite a few years ago, I had already encountered the Dictionary for Writers and Editors in an earlier incarnation, and it had served me well as a trustworthy companion in my various encounters with academic prose.

This new set of three books, first published in 2005, represent a leap forward from these beginnings. Each of the volumes complements the others perfectly, so that writers and editors have at their disposal a plethora of abbreviations, tips on style and disambiguations of the most troublesome spellings. Moreover, considering that so much information is packed into each book, they are uniformly formatted to a handy ‘pocket’ size (roughly, 18cm x 12cm), and are minimalistically but elegantly packaged. published by such an august firm as OUP, each of the volumes has also received the seal of recommendation from the Society for Editors and Proofreaders. All three books can be purchased individually or as part of a set (as The Oxford Writers’ Reference Pack) for about £30 online.

Read more at the Cardiff Book History blog.

Written by Anthony Mandal

16/11/2010 at 10:17 am