Review by Choice Review
Unlike Webster's Dictionary of English Usage (CH, Jul'89) which based its entries on large collections of written and spoken examples but seldom gave prescriptive advice, the books of Eric Partridge have always offered with wit and elegance a prescriptive analysis. This new edition appears for dynamic reasons: "some of the battles Partridge fought with such vigor have been irrevocably lost"; new problems of usage have arisen; and the intended audience has changed from people who have an understanding of Greek and Latin as part of their basic education to people who do not but who wish to become well-informed writers, readers, or speakers. Maintaining the lively tone of earlier editions, Whitcut has retained as much as possible of the original text, including examples. Nonetheless, the changes are judicious and substantial. Modern scholarly examples augment those from less well known sources. Individual entries often reflect additional or deleted material. The list of abbreviations is more extensive than in previous editions. This careful and meticulous revision improves the work. Highly recommended for all libraries. R. Hanson; Muskingum College
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review
First published in 1942, this classic work by noted British lexicographer Partridge, who died in 1979, has been updated by Whitcut. Recent editions had included American usage, but more has been added here, for example, the difference in use of specialty and speciality. The list of vogue words is almost totally new; Whitcut added born-again and ethnic and dropped Bolshevism and ego and id. The entry Muhammad notes that Muslim is the correct form for believers, not Muhammadan, as in previous editions (but the entry Mecca still says it "is a place of religious pilgrimage for Muhammadans" ). The entry Jew is an improvement over the offensive Semitic; Hebraic, Hebrew; Jewish. The entry black replaces Negro, and a racist example has been removed from the list of similes. But most of the book is still pure Partridge; witness the witty entries Johnsonese and wooliness, for example, which have not been changed. Most entries have not been updated; many still quote examples from newspapers and magazines of the 1930s and 1940s. Libraries with an earlier edition of Partridge on their shelves will be happy to replace it with this new one, and language mavens will still find it interesting reading. For public and high-school libraries, though, it is still too British and too dated to be the first choice for a usage guide. Webster's Dictionary of English Usage (Merriam-Webster, 1989) is a better alternative. (Reviewed ^May 01, 1995^)0393037614Sandy Whiteley ((Reviewed ^May 01, 1995^))
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review
The first edition of this book was published in 1942 and became a classic reference on the use of the English language. Whitcut has updated this edition for the 1990s but left much of Partridge's original wit and wisdom intact. She also kept many of his original examples and citations to other works, so this new edition still seems somewhat dated. That said, this style manual in dictionary form, interspersed with essays on various topics (including "standard English," "jargon," and "euphemism"), is by turns entertaining and informative. An updated list of vogue words includes such entries as "backlash," "crash," and "syndrome." This book would do well in reference for answering quick questions such as the difference between "can" and "may," both of which "express the idea of permission." It is also interesting to browse. Recommended for informed readers.-Lisa J. Cochenet, Winfield P.L., Ill. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.