The correct way to write ... and why it matters
The Telegraph's master English stylist shows how it's done
"Be in no doubt: the beer was drunk but the man drank the beer."
"We must avoid vulgarities like 'front up'. If someone is 'fronting up' a television show, then he is presenting it."
Simon Heffer's incisive and amusingly despairing emails to colleagues at the The Daily Telegraph about grammatical mistakes and stylistic slips have found their way on to the internet and have attracted a growing band of ardent fans over recent years. Now, in his new book Strictly English, he makes an impassioned case for an end to the sloppiness that has become such a hallmark of everyday speech and writing, and shows how accuracy and clarity are within the grasp of anyone who is prepared to take the time to master a few simple rules.
If you wince when you see "different than" in print, or are offended by people who think that "infer" and "imply" mean the same thing, then this book will provide reassurance that you are not alone. If you have a suspicion that it is wrong to say "the car collided with the tree" but are not quite sure why, then it will set you straight. And if you believe that precise and elegant English really does matter, then it will prove required reading.
“Every one of us who gasps at the use of English in the papers each morning or harrumphs on turning on the radio will find much to applaud”
“I have spent several productive hours reading Strictly English”
Jeffrey Archer, Daily Telegraph
“His evidently strong feelings about his subject, fluently expressed, make this book lively and engrossing”
Times Literary Supplement
“The Holy Grail of grammar ... It is a delight to read and learn from this book”
“Heffer's polemic in favour of grammatical precision is an important and persuasive one”
“Anyone who writes for a living, or who wants to write well, could benefit from a few hours spent with Heffer's amusing and clearly organised book”
“An impassioned case for correct English, full of practical advice”