Book: Ernest Gowers «Plain Words»

Plain Words

"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...

Издательство: "Particular Books" (2014)

Формат: 135x205, 320 стр.

ISBN: 978-0-141-97553-5

Купить за 979 руб на Озоне

Ernest Gowers

Sir Ernest Arthur Gowers GCB GBE (2 June188016 April 1966) was a British civil servant, now best known for work on style guides for writing the English language.

He was born in London on the younger of the two sons of Sir William Richard Gowers (1845–1915), physician. He was educated at Rugby School and at Clare College, Cambridge, where he gained a first class in the classical tripos in 1902.citation|editor=R. W. Burchfield|contribution=Gowers, Sir Ernest Arthur (1880–1966)|title=Oxford Dictionary of National Biography|publisher=Oxford University Press|year=2004| url=http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/33497|accessdate=2007-06-28]

His civil service career took him from the Inland Revenue to the India Office, and then the Treasury, National Health Insurance Commission, Conciliation and Arbitration Board, the Board of Trade and finally, as chairman, back to the Inland Revenue. He retired from the civil service in 1930, but undertook a wide range of public service duties thereafter. His chairmanships included a Royal Commission on capital punishment, set up by the Attlee government to examine all aspects of the subject. This turned him into a convinced abolitionist. His views were set out in his book "A Life for a Life?"

The Dictionary of National Biography accounts Gowers ‘one of the greatest public servants of his day’. Among the matters he investigated were the admission of women into the senior branch of the foreign service, and the preservation, maintenance, and use of houses of outstanding historical or architectural interest.

At the invitation of HM Treasury he wrote "Plain Words, a guide to the use of English" in 1948. It was designed to woo officials away from pompous and over-elaborate writing, and was so successful that the Treasury asked for a sequel, "The ABC of Plain Words", which was published in 1951. Both these works were slim paperbacks. Their success encouraged Her Majesty's Stationery Office to commission a hardback book combining the best of both earlier publications. This was "The Complete Plain Words", published in 1954, and never (in various revisions) out of print since.

Its success was wide – far beyond the original audience of civil servants – and Gowers was invited by the Oxford University Press to prepare a new edition of "Fowler's Modern English Usage", which was in need of updating, having been in print since 1926 with only very minor changes. The second edition was published in 1965 and remained in print for three decades, being succeeded by a third edition in 1996.

He spent his later years farming in Sussex. He died at King Edward VII Hospital, Midhurst, Sussex, on 16 April 1966. Ernest Gowers was the son of the eminent neurologist Sir William Gowers, grandfather of composer Patrick Gowers and greatgrandfather of mathematician and Fields Medallist Timothy Gowers.

References

Источник: Ernest Gowers

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