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Rebecca Gowers was born in the West Country and brought up, south of the river, in London. She currently lives in Oxford. Her first book, The Swamp of Death, was shortlisted in 2004 for a CWA Non-Fiction Golden Dagger Award. When to Walk is her first novel and was longlisted for the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction 2007.
Longlisted for the Orange Prize 2007.This is a delightful, quirky read. You will be hooked on the main character, Ramble, from the start and be very sorry to say goodbye to her by the end of the book. This is the author's first novel and we hope there will be many more to come.
'Stuffed with entertaining detail ... Horrible Words is lively, provocative, witty and enlightening' The Times Nothing inflames the language purists like an illogical irregardless or a hideous otherization. But is it enough simply to dismiss these words as vile and barbarous howlers? Taking a genial tour far and wide through our linguistic badlands, Rebecca Gowers finds answers that are helpful, surprising and often extremely funny. 'Exuberant, erudite, informative and fun ... a call on all English-speakers to trust their own feel for their language, to relish their verbal inventiveness and to do battle against the pedants who tell them they are wrong' Michael Skapinker, Financial Times 'A very useful book, packed with good historical sense' Lynne Truss, The Times
Nothing inflames the language gripers like a misplaced disinterested, an illogical irregardless, a hideous operationalisation. To purists these are 'howlers' and 'non-words', fit only for scorn. But in their rush to condemn such terms, are the naysayers missing something? In this provocative and hugely entertaining book, Rebecca Gowers throws light on a great array of horrible words, and shows how the diktats of the pedants are repeatedly based on misinformation, false reasoning and straight-up snobbery. The result is a brilliant work of history, a surreptitious introduction to linguistics, and a mischievous salute to the misusers of the language. It is also a bold manifesto asserting our common rights over English, even as it questions the true nature of style.
'Be short, be simple, be human.' When Sir Ernest Gowers first wrote Plain Words, it was intended simply as a guide to the proper use of English for the Civil Service. Within a year, however, its humour, charm and authority had made it a bestseller. Since then it has never been out of print. Six decades on, writer Rebecca Gowers has created a new edition of this now-classic work that both revises and celebrates her great-grandfather's original. Plain Words has been updated to reflect numerous changes in English usage, yet Sir Ernest's distinctive, witty voice is undimmed. And his message remains vital: our writing should be as clear and comprehensible as possible, avoiding superfluous words and cliches - from the jargon of 'commercialese' to the murky euphemisms of politicians. In a new preface, this edition draws on an extensive private archive, previously hidden away in family cupboards and attics, to tell the story behind a book that has become an institution: the essential guide to making yourself understood.
When Kit goes to a dance class she is hoping simply to take her mind off her studies. Soon it looks like Joe, a stranger she meets there, might do more than that. But when Kit uncovers a mystery involving the young Charles Dickens and the slaughter of a prostitute known as The Countess, she is sucked back in to the world of books, and discovers how Dickens became tangled up with this horrendous crime.