Bryan A. Garner
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About Bryan A. Garner
Bryan A. Garner (born Nov. 17, 1958) is an American lawyer, grammarian, and lexicographer. He also writes on jurisprudence (and occasionally golf). He is the author of over 25 books, the best-known of which are Garner’s Modern English Usage (4th ed. 2016) and Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts (2012—coauthored with Justice Antonin Scalia), as well as four unabridged editions of Black’s Law Dictionary. He serves as Distinguished Research Professor of Law at Southern Methodist University. He also teaches from time to time at the University of Texas School of Law, Texas A&M School of Law, and Texas Tech School of Law.
In 2009, he was named Legal-Writing and Reference-Book Author of the Decade at a Burton Awards ceremony at the Library of Congress. He has received many other awards, including the Benjamin Franklin Book Award, the Scribes Book Award, the Bernie Siegan Award, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Center for Plain Language.
His work has played a central role in our understanding of modern judging, advocacy, grammar, English usage, legal lexicography, and the common-law system of precedent. His books are frequently cited by American courts of all levels, including the United States Supreme Court.
His friendship with the novelist David Foster Wallace is memorialized in Quack This Way: David Foster Wallace and Bryan A. Garner Talk Language and Writing (2013). His friendship and writing partnership with Justice Antonin Scalia is depicted in the memoir Nino and Me: My Unusual Friendship with Justice Antonin Scalia (2018).
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Books By Bryan A. Garner
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When you’re fumbling for words and pressed for time, you might be tempted to dismiss good business writing as a nicety. But it’s a skill you must cultivate to succeed: You’ll lose time, money, and influence if your e-mails, proposals, and other important documents fail to win people over.
The HBR Guide to Better Business Writing, by writing expert Bryan A. Garner, gives you the tools you need to express your ideas clearly and persuasively so clients, colleagues, stakeholders, and partners will get behind them. This book will help you:
• Push past writer’s block
• Grab—and keep—readers’ attention
• Earn credibility with tough audiences
• Trim the fat from your writing
• Strike the right tone
• Brush up on grammar, punctuation, and usage
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In Garner's view, good writing is good thinking put to paper. "Never write a sentence that you couldn't easily speak," he warns-and demonstrates how to do just that. Beginning each tip with a set of quotable quotes from experts, he then gives masterly advice on building sound paragraphs, drafting crisp sentences, choosing the best words ("Strike pursuant to from your vocabulary."), quoting authority, citing sources, and designing a document that looks as impressive as it reads.
Throughout, he shows how to edit for maximal impact, using vivid before-and-after examples that apply the basics of rhetoric to persuasive writing. Filled with examples of good and bad writing from actual briefs filed in courts of all types, The Winning Brief also covers the new appellate rules for preparing federal briefs. Constantly collecting material from his seminars and polling judges for their preferences, the second edition delivers the same solid guidelines with even more supporting evidence.
Including for the first time sections on the ever-changing rules of acceptable legal writing, Garner's new edition keeps even the most seasoned lawyers on their toes and writing briefs that win cases. An invaluable resource for attorneys, law clerks, judges, paralegals, law students and their teachers, The Winning Brief has the qualities that make all of Garner's books so popular: authority, accessibility, and page after page of techniques that work. If you're writing to win a case, this book shouldn't merely be on your shelf--it should be open on your desk.
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GMEU is the liveliest and most compulsively readable reference work for writers of our time. It delights while providing instruction on skillful, persuasive, and vivid writing. Garner liberates English from two extremes: both from the hidebound "purists" who mistakenly believe that split infinitives and sentence-ending prepositions are malfeasances and from the linguistic relativists who believe that whatever people say or write must necessarily be accepted.
The judgments here are backed up not just by a lifetime of study but also by an empirical grounding in the largest linguistic corpus ever available. In this fourth edition, Garner has made extensive use of corpus linguistics to include ratios of standard terms as compared against variants in modern print sources. No other resource provides as comprehensive, reliable, and empirical a guide to current English usage.
For all concerned with writing and editing, GMEU will prove invaluable as a desk reference. Garner illustrates with actual examples, cited with chapter and verse, all the linguistic blunders that modern writers and speakers are prone to, whether in word choice, syntax, phrasing, punctuation, or pronunciation. No matter how knowledgeable you may already be, you're sure to learn from every single page of this book.
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Accessible and witty, Legal Writing in Plain English draws on real-life writing samples that Garner has gathered through decades of teaching experience. Trenchant advice covers all types of legal materials, from analytical and persuasive writing to legal drafting, and the book’s principles are reinforced by sets of basic, intermediate, and advanced exercises in each section.
In this new edition, Garner preserves the successful structure of the original while adjusting the content to make it even more classroom-friendly. He includes case examples from the past decade and addresses the widespread use of legal documents in electronic formats. His book remains the standard guide for producing the jargon-free language that clients demand and courts reward.
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The author of The Chicago Manual of Style’s popular “Grammar and Usage” chapter, Bryan A. Garner is renowned for explaining the vagaries of English with absolute precision and utmost clarity. With The Chicago Guide to Grammar, Usage, and Punctuation, he has written the definitive guide for writers who want their prose to be both memorable and correct.
Garner describes standard literary English—the forms that mark writers and speakers as educated users of the language. He also offers historical context for understanding the development of these forms. The section on grammar explains how the canonical parts of speech came to be identified, while the section on syntax covers the nuances of sentence patterns as well as both traditional sentence diagramming and transformational grammar. The usage section provides an unprecedented trove of empirical evidence in the form of Google Ngrams, diagrams that illustrate the changing prevalence of specific terms over decades and even centuries of English literature. Garner also treats punctuation and word formation, and concludes the book with an exhaustive glossary of grammatical terms and a bibliography of suggested further reading and references.
The Chicago Guide to Grammar, Usage, and Punctuation is a magisterial work, the culmination of Garner’s lifelong study of the English language. The result is a landmark resource that will offer clear guidelines to students, writers, and editors alike.
“[A manual] for those of us laboring to produce expository prose: nonfiction books, journalistic articles, memorandums, business letters. The conservatism of his advice pushes you to consider audience and occasion, so that you will understand when to follow convention and when you can safely break it.”—John E. McIntyre, Baltimore Sun
When Bryan Garner published the first edition of A Dictionary of Modern American Usage in 1999, the book quickly became one of the most influential style guides ever written for the English language. After four previous editions and over twenty years, our language has evolved in many ways, and the powerful tool of big data has revolutionized lexicography. This extensively revised new edition fully captures these changes, featuring a thousand new entries and over two hundred replacement entries, thoroughly updated usage data and ratios on word frequency based on the Google Ngram Viewer, a more balanced coverage of World Englishes, not just American and British, and the inclusion of gender-neutral language. However, one thing has not changed: in no sense is this a "regular" dictionary but a masterpiece of lexicography written with wit and personality by one of the preeminent authorities on the English language. To put it in David Foster Wallace's words, Garner's discussion of rhetoric and style still "borders on genius."
From the (lost) battle between self-deprecating and self-depreciating to the misuse of it's for its, from the variant spelling patty-cake taking over pat-a-cake in American English to the singular uses of they, Garner explains the nuances of grammar and vocabulary and the linguistic blunders to which modern writers and speakers are prone, whether in word choice, syntax, phrasing, punctuation, or pronunciation. His empirical approach liberates English from two extremes: from the "purists" who maintain that split infinitives and sentence-ending prepositions are malfeasances and from the linguistic relativists who believe that whatever people say or write must necessarily be accepted.
The purpose of Garner's dictionary is to help writers, editors, and speakers use the language effectively. And it does so in a playful and persuasive way that will help you sound "grammatical but relaxed, refined but natural, correct but unpedantic."
Inspired by Strunk and White's The Elements of Style, this book clearly (often wittily) explains the full range of what legal writers need to know: mechanics, word choice, structure, and rhetoric, as well as all the special conventions that legal writers should follow in using headings, defined terms, quotations, and many other devices. Garner also provides abundant examples from the best legal writers of yesterday and today, including Oliver Wendell Holmes, Clarence Darrow, Frank Easterbrook, and Antonin Scalia.
If you want to make your writing clearer, more precise, more persuasive, and above all more stylish, The Elements of Legal Style offers the surest--and the most enjoyable--means to that end.
For almost thirty years, Antonin Scalia was arguably the most influential and controversial Justice on the United States Supreme Court. His dynamic and witty writing devoted to the Constitution has influenced an entire generation of judges.
Based on his reputation for using scathing language to criticize liberal court decisions, many people presumed Scalia to be gruff and irascible. But to those who knew him as “Nino,” he was characterized by his warmth, charm, devotion, fierce intelligence, and loyalty.
Bryan Garner’s friendship with Justice Scalia was instigated by celebrated writer David Foster Wallace and strengthened over their shared love of language. Despite their differing viewpoints on everything from gun control to the use of contractions, their literary and personal relationship flourished. Justice Scalia even officiated at Garner’s wedding.
In this humorous, touching, and surprisingly action-packed memoir, Garner gives a firsthand insight into the mind, habits, and faith of one of the most famous and misunderstood judges in the world.