Monday, December 18, 2006

'Be short, be simple, be human'

All entrants into the service come equipped with a vocabulary of common words of precise meaning adequate for all ordinary purposes. But when they begin to write as officials they have a queer trick of forgetting them and relying mainly on a smaller vocabulary of less common words with a less precise meaning.

--- Gowers, The Complete Plain Words (3rd Edition)

Picked this up over the weekend at Kinokuniya Bargain Alley. It's a bit battered, but a book like this wants to be worn out. Incidentally, it's a Penguin Reference edition. Simple yet striking design: the horizontal grid reminiscent of early Penguins, the distinctive rounded corners, and sleek Futura.

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