Usage Guides

Language changes with continued use, but changes—and acceptance of the changes—happen slowly. A usage guide answers readers’ questions on whether a specific usage has changed, how accepted it is, and some common errors in usage.


Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of English Usage
One of my favorite usage guides, DEU outlines usage issues and advises readers on which styles of writing would best accommodate specific usages, but it rarely dictates what you should do. Writers and editors are encouraged to make their own decisions based on their situations.


Garner’s Modern American Usage
Garner’s is my other go-to guide for usage advice. Garner tends to be formal in his usage, but he often couples formality with common sense. Readers can use the Language-Change Index to judge how closely to stick to Garner’s formality.


Common Errors in English Usage
Paul Brians answers your most pressing questions about usage, such as “When do I use accept and when except?” and “Should I use good or well?” or “What’s the difference between i.e. and e.g.?”

Discover even more online usage guides with this bookmark collection at Delicious.

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