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First published in 1986, this book examines the changing patterns in English usage and style. It encourages a constructive attitude to language, demonstrating the creative resources of grammar, discussing in detail the options of written style, and challenging the authoritarian spirit that inhibits usage. The central chapters are concerned with written usage, and pay close attention to questions of syntax and punctuation. The sense of writing, however, is always related to speech, and the value of usage as a social act is emphasised in the exploration of style as an individual function. Technical terms are explained and the text is illustrated with examples from literature and journalism.