Posted by: patriciamar | March 15, 2016

Bryson, Bill

Books are great decoration and are great conversation pieces.

At a gathering, a room full of bookshelves is great for the introvert, the extrovert, and anyone else on the spectrum in between or outside.

Matt and I were discussing this the other day, and he mentioned how they were colorful and decorative, but also great conversation pieces. To prove his point, he picked one book at random off the shelf. It happened to be this book, which is the absolute perfect example, laughably so.

Bryson’s Dictionary for Writers and Editors is an incredibly useful book, but is also very entertaining, especially if you like random anecdotes, facts or pop culture–yes, even pop culture!

On this particular day, for example, we popped it open to a random page and picked a random entry. It was Guadalupe, Guadeloupe.

I’ll go ahead and include a segment for you here.

bill bryson


As you can imagine, this led to a near-20-minute converation.

Eventually we made it back to the original topic, even a little impressed with the depth to which the point had been made.

Besides its fun and dandy convo topic properties, this book is truly very useful for writers and editors.

Imagine that moment when you’re writing away, on a roll (or not), and you suddenly come to a name or phrase or idiom, and you think, “Which way does that go again?” “How do you spell that?” or “Is it this or that?”

I would guess that 80 percent of the time, you can grab this book and your question will be answered. Of course the internet can do the same thing, but there’s something incredibly satisfying about how often the answer appears in this Bryson book.

As an editor, it’s great for spell checking random names (particularly historical in nature).

A few examples, randomly selected (eyes closed, point finger):images
Graf, Steffi
keenness, but keenest
Muscovite for a person from Moscow. The name from the ancient principality of Muscovy.

By the way, Bill Bryson is also a great travel book writer!


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