Manual labour?

The question over at Booking Through Thursday this week:
Writing guides, grammar books, punctuation how-tos . . . do you read them? Not read them? How many writing books, grammar books, dictionaries–if any–do you have in your library?
My answer:
I have to read them, as editing is my bread-n-butter, my roti-sabji. 🙂 I love reading the rules and finding the exceptions, so that is not a problem. I have to read them, and I want to read them too.
I am yet a beginner in this area. As I go deeper into the field, I feel the need to develop more of a sense of editing, and have recently begun poring through proofreading manuals and grammar books.
As far as my home library is concerned, I only own one grammar book – Wren and Martin. The trusted Oxford Dictionary holds a place of honour on my desk. I mostly read online on editing and proofreading guidelines. I am yet to invest in a proper language guide or a writing guide.


Filed under Reading Ramana, Tag, Work

16 responses to “Manual labour?

  1. Well, to be honest, sometimes, I find such books a bit boring. I would rather trust my instincts and get corrected by someone as and when I make mistakes.

  2. priyaiyer


    sometimes, i can’t afford that. i have to have a logical explanation for every editing change i have carried out. but yes, intuition is almost always right! 🙂

  3. Hey.. used to ALSO have Wren and Martin…someone borrowed it from me and never gave it back to me 😦

    I think i should also have one!

  4. If someone reads my wuold so apparent..I haven’t read any of these books 🙂

  5. Have you tried the New York Times Manual of Style and Usage ?? W&M , I remember that…Being an English teacher’s son, you are compelled to read that every day…..


  6. There was a time when I used to read the dictionary for time pass 🙂 My dad gave me this nice leather bound Oxford dictionary (with a metal golden colored bookmark!) and I used to sit with it for hours.. I wasn’t even prepping for GRE then, so my friends used to think I was nuts (well, they still think Im nuts but thats beside the point) 🙂

  7. btw..who’s the spectacle clad girl in the header? you? 🙂

  8. my dad used to quote wren and martin as basic book but i never read… hehehe…

  9. priyaiyer


    yep, Wren and Martin is VERY GOOD. 🙂


    🙂 u underestimate yourself too much…


    yep, have heard of the New York Manual of Style. My boss insists on the Chicago Manual of Style. 🙂 English teacher’s son? Lucky you…

  10. Priya,
    >> Lucky you !! . Well sometimes when your mom is your English teacher and your class teacher….things get out of hand…. I can say this confidently because I know my mom can’t reach this page…lol


  11. priyaiyer


    welcome back! long time, no see?

    i have observed that people who used to ‘play around’ with dictionaries have got great vocabularies. unfortunately, i never did that. am trying to do that now. 🙂

    @priya again

    no, thats not me. 🙂

    @vijay ganesh

    it was a BIBLE for me in my school days. 🙂

  12. priyaiyer


    i would give anything to be under the constant guidance and supervision of an English Lit teacher now. ya, sometimes things might get out of hand. i can imagine. 🙂

  13. “editing and reviewing” sounds like fun. And that too, doing that for ‘roti-sabji’ should be all the more interesting. Good luck! 🙂

  14. priyaiyer

    @arun sundar

    for the most part, it is good. i enjoy it. still got a long way to go…

  15. Wren and Martin was my saviour during school days !! Neatly compiled book, that one 🙂

  16. priyaiyer


    yup, it was one gireat saviour for me too. 🙂

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