A Quick Note About What Else You Need on Your Desk

I’ve talked before about the books that should sit on every auditor’s desk. This includes such things as Strunk & White’s Element of Style; some kind of grammar reference (I use Margaret Shertzer’s Elements of Grammar); William Zinsser’s On Writing Well; The Red Book; a real-live, honest-to-goodness, paper dictionary (yes, I look a lot of it up on line, but the paper ones come in pretty handy also), and a similarly constructed thesaurus.  

(I also keep a copy of E. E. Cummings’ poems, but the less said about that the better.)
 
Add one more essential, must-have, don’t-leave-home-without-it book to that list – a style guide.
 
After my son graduated with his journalism degree, he gave me an out-of-date copy of the AP Stylebook (2009) to do with as I pleased. I recently brought it to work. One month and I can’t count the number of times I’ve referenced it. (For example, which is correct – email or e-mail? The answer may surprise you.)
 
No equivocation. Add a style guide to your book shelf.
 
And, while you’re at it, maybe you should find out what the accepted style guide is for you company and for your department. And, if there isn’t one, maybe you can lead the charge.
 
(By the way, I had to use the style guide to look up whether to capitalize “thesaurus”. See how handy it is?)

Posted on Aug 30, 2012 by Mike Jacka

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