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Bugs in Writing: A Guide to Debugging Your Prose

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

How often does a book come along that has you laughing out loud as it improves your writing, especially of technical and scientific material? How often does a book on writing come out aimed at... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

I bought this book four times so far! Aren't you curious about my reasons?

Lyn, oh Darling Lyn, words can't describe you and your verbal prowess... Sorry, wrong site. *coughs* I first stumbled onto this book in 2000 at the Stanford University bookstore. I knew I needed help with my writing skills and so I set out to find a book on English grammar that would be both helpful and readable. I bought a few books that day, none of which I can remember today. This book is exceptional. Let me tell you just how exceptional it is. My ex-wife has my first copy of that book, I bought another for her to give to her university overseas, and then I bought a third copy of this book. After our separation, I discovered that copy was also missing. Another ex-girlfriend, smartie that she is, heard of my plight while I was reminiscing about it in a half-delusional state of mind and gave it to me as a Valentine's day gift. Please understand that I was reminiscing about a grammar book in a half-delusional state of mind. I am not even an English major! I am a computer expert. What makes this book so special? I was doing a refresher earlier this morning and easily read through the first 200 pages in one setting. Can you make such a claim about any other textbook? I would be curious to read that book. In fact, CNE Study Guide by David C. Clarke would be my other recommendation for you if you like to mix humor with your learning. This book is not what I would consider lazy reading material. You will derive more value from this book if you mentally apply what you just learned to the "Bad" examples until you can construct "Splendid" prose. Lyn leaves the transformation of examples as an exercise to her reader. Whether you love Lyn's style or hate it, you will remember her advice. Her examples are fun and funny. She is an expert copy editor. Her book transfers that expertise with surprising ease. Oh, and it is not all about cats and personal relationships that make you close your eyes and reminisce. She talks about Malamutes and other dog breeds too! Is this review grammatically perfect? I make no such claims. If you wish to write prose that is truly fun to read, such as this overly indulgent review, then you should definitely buy this book. It is exceptionally useful. I bought this book four times. That earns it 20 stars!

I keep it on my desk all the time

I have Lyn's book already for a couple of years. I loved reading it beacuse of the wit with which she brings her message. And of course, I like cats. I use it regularly as a reference work. There may be issues in which Lyn is overdoing, but on the other hand most of the advice is useful. This holds in particular for those for which English is not their first language. Many traps in English are discussed and good and bad examples are given to learn from.

I don't know if it's art, but I liked it!

I just recently finished a technical book and the book and Lyn's advice to be spot on. She flags the problems that I had with my writing style (or lack thereof). Her style of writing is quirky, but entertaining. I enjoyed it immensely. If I had bothered to read the book before I started righting my own book, I would have finished my book in much less time. A cautionary note: this book is for TECHNICAL WRITERS. A book for the scientist who is writing, or the computer programmer who is writing. This book won't work for your novel about summers in Rome.

Sits Beside My Strunk and White

As a professional author with over 49 books to my credit, I've collected a number of guides to writing over the years. This book sits on my reference shelf right between Strunk and White, and the Chicago Manual of Style. I recommend it to other authors on a regular basis because it contains so many clear examples that are easy to read and understand. As far as I'm concerned, my reference shelf would be incomplete without this book.There are two reasons that I like this book. First, it isn't dry and hard to understand. I like a little humor when I read. Second, the examples are clear and easy to follow. It's easy to write a book that defines writing in terms that only an English major would love. Writing a book like this is difficult, and I appreciate the author's hard work.

The most useful book in its category

This book describes what to do and not to do when writing in English, and it is so funny and entertaining that you pick it up and read one advice after the other. The book is divided into short articles each covering one topic, making it a good companion when riding the train to work or for travels. Books giving advice on better writing are often extremely dull, meaning that they are left unread - therefore, if you want to start with just one book on better English usage, 'Bugs in writing' is the best choice. Lyn Dupre has worked as an editor of technical and scientific litterature, and the book focus on the use of English when writing instructions for users of software and scientific articles
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