Write It Right! A Little Blacklist of Literary Faults (from A – Z), by American Author, War Correspondent, & Journalist, Ambrose Bierce (1909)

The Starving Writers' Club

Write It Right! A Little Blacklist of Literary Faults

Ambrose Bierce, 1909

(Note: at the end of the glossary is additional reading and links to information about Ambrose Bierce and the mystery surrounding his disappearance in the early 1900s.)


Introduction


The author’s main purpose in this book is to teach precision in writing; and of good writing (which, essentially, is clear thinking made visible) precision is the point of capital concern. It is attained by choice of the word that accurately and adequately expresses what the writer has in mind, and by exclusion of that which either denotes or connotes something else. As Quintilian puts it, the writer should so write that his reader not only may, but must, understand.

Few words have more than one literal and serviceable meaning, however many metaphorical, derivative, related, or even unrelated, meanings lexicographers may think it worth while to gather from all sorts…

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