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Reference books make great holiday gifts.

The Year 2000 summons us. As we round the Big Bend toward Y2K, I offer fin-de-siecle and fin-de-millenaire greetings along with my annual book list on writing and lawyering.

Now is the time for all fine minds to thwart the apocalyptic gloom-meisters who prate about the vanishing of the book. I'm betting that books survive--with title revisions to exploit catchy, millennially marketable phrases (e.g., 21st Century).

Yes, the digerati divined that we'd explore novel means to access the written word. And we did. Decreed that we'd champion powerful hypertext aids for researching. And we did. Declared that we'd abandon bound books. But we didn't. That declaration (as skeptic Mark Twain cabled, from London, on learning of the report of his death) was "exaggeration."

Today's words, it's true, aren't bedded or embedded solely between the covers of bound books. Law firms well might select electronic services over ceiling-to-floor shelves of multi-volume sets with pocket parts. Individual options, too, exist--from CD-ROM to e-books, from soft copy to hard copy. Yet the "hardier" copies remain accessible through libraries, bookstores, and (oh, the irony!) online-vendors. Despite the doomsayers, book-stacks stay stocked.

Are we, as members of the professional Bar, affected by the changes? Yes and no. Daily, lawyers encounter new media for receiving and transmitting the word. Yet, despite the medium, good lawyering will entail good writing. (The French might say: Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose, the more a thing changes, the more it remains the same.)

Dear colleagues--writers, researchers, readers all--let us resolve, on approaching the Year 2000, to balance our books, our book "options," our resource-preferences, and our writing lives. My reference works won't put you in a "bind" though they're bound--to grab you.

Florida Bar CLE Guides

For a complete Continuing Legal Education book list, consult or the Florida Bar Journal Directory (September issue). These CLE titles are relevant:

Ralph Artigliere, The Florida Bar's Fastrain--How to Write and Use Jury Instructions (1998).

Betsy A. Stupski, Guide to Florida Legal Research (5th ed. 1998).

Cyberspace Works

For Florida citation guidelines on electronic research, consult Chapter Five of Betsy Stupski's CLE Guide. For general Internet guidelines, see Rule 17.3 of The Bluebook.

Wired Style: Principles of English Usage in the Digital Age (from the Editors of Wired, Constance Hale ed., 1996). This lively book, capturing the online lingo, doesn't address writers who are legalese-impacted or annal-retentive (er, supplement-saving).

Christopher G. Wren & Jill Robinson Wren, Using Computers in Research: A Guide to LEXIS and Westlaw (1994).

Manuals of Legal Citation

Question: Where does the lawyer seek remedies when Bluebook citation form differs from Florida form? Answer: Rule 9.800 of the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure.

The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (16th ed. 1996).

Alan L. Dworsky, User's Guide to the Bluebook (rev. for the 16th ed. 1996).

Texas Law Review Association Manual on Usage and Style (8th ed. 1995).

The University of Chicago Manual of Legal Citation (1989).

Law Dictionaries: Antiquarian and Mod

William C. Anderson, A Dictionary of Law, Consisting of Judicial Definitions and Explanations ... Comprising a Dictionary and Compendium of American and English Jurisprudence (reprint ed. 1996) (1889).

Joseph A. Bailey II, The Concise Dictionary of Medical-Legal Terms: A General Guide to Interpretation and Usage (1998).

Ballentine's Law Dictionary with Pronunciations (William S. Anderson ed., 3d ed. 1969). Note the Legal Assistant Edition (Jack Handler ed., 1994).

Gerry W. Beyer et al., Modern Dictionary for the Legal Profession (2d ed. 1996; supp. 1997).

Black's Law Dictionary (Bryan A. Garner ed., 7th ed. 1999).

Bouvier's Law Dictionary and Concise Encyclopedia (8th reprint ed. 1994) (1839).

Amy B. Brann, The Law Dictionary Pronouncing Edition: A Dictionary of Legal Words and Phrases with Latin and French Maxims of the Law Translated and Explained (7th ed. 1997).

William H. Bryson, Dictionary of Sigla and Abbreviations to and in Law Books Before 1607 (2d ed. 1996).

Burton's Legal Thesaurus (William C. Burton ed., 3d ed. 1998).

James E. Clapp, Random-House Legal Dictionary (paper ed. 1997) (1995).

Bryan A. Garner, A Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage (2d ed. 1995).

Bruce R. Hopkins, Nonprofit Law Dictionary (1995).

David Mellinkoff, Mellinkoff's Dictionary of American Legal Usage (1992).

Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law (1996).

Donald R. Pember, Mass Media Law; with Encyclopedia Dictionary (8th ed. 1996).

Stewart Rapalje & Robert L. Lawrence, A Dictionary of American and English Law. (reissued 1997) (1888).

Robert E. Rothenberg, Plain Language Law Dictionary (2d ed. 1996).

William P. Statsky, West's Legal Thesaurus/Dictionary: A Resource for the Writer and the Computer Researcher (1985).

Robert Craig Waters, Waters' Dictionary of Florida Law (1991).

Legal-writing and Research Guides

Do flattering writing and research questions nag you? Identify strengths and iron out flaws with a skills-refresher book.

Stephen V. Armstrong & Timothy P. Terrell, Thinking Like a Writer: A Lawyer's Guide to Effective Writing and Editing (1994 reprint) (1992).

Robert C. Berring & Elizabeth A. Edinger, Finding the Law (11th ed. 1999) labels itself "the grateful grandchild of How to Find the Law," by Morris L. Cohen et al. See Nancy P. Johnson & Susan T. Phillips, Legal Research Exercises to Accompany How to Find the Law and Finding the Law (6th ed. 1999).

Carole C. Berry, Effective Appellate Advocacy: Brief Writing and Oral Argument (2d ed. 1999).

Gertrude Block, Effective Legal Writing for Law Students and Lawyers (5th ed. 1999).

Susan L. Brody et al., Legal Drafting (1994).

Charles R. Calleros, Legal Method and Writing (3d ed. 1998).

Barbara Child, Drafting Legal Documents: Principles and Practices (2d ed. 1992) (1988).

Maria L. Ciampi et al., The Citation Workbook: How to Beat the Citation Blues (2d ed. 1997).

Frank E. Cooper, Writing in Law Practice (reissued 1963) (1953).

John C. Dernbach et al., A Practical Guide to Legal Writing and Legal Method (2d ed. 1994).

Reed Dickerson, The Fundamentals of Legal Drafting (2d ed. 1986).

Linda Holdeman Edwards, Legal Writing: Process, Analysis, & Organization (1999) (1996).

James A. Gardner, Legal Argument: The Structure and Language of Effective Advocacy (1993).

Bryan A. Garner, The Winning Brief: 100 Tips for Persuasive Briefing in Trial & Appellate Courts (1999) (1996).

John T. Gaubatz & Taylor Mattis, The Moot Court Book (3d ed. 1994).

Tom Goldstein & Jethro K. Liebarman, The Lawyer's Guide to Writing Well (1991) (1989).

C. Edward Good, Mightier Than the Sword: Powerful Writing in the Legal Profession (1989).

George D. Gopen, Writing from a Legal Perspective (1986) (1981).

Thomas R. Haggard, The Lawyer's Book of Rules for Effective Legal Writing (1997) (1996).

Christina L. Kunz et al., The Process of Legal Research (4th ed. 1996).

Language on Trial: The Plain English Guide to Legal Writing (Plain English Campaign Staff 1996).

Terri LeClercq, Expert Legal Writing (1995); and Guide to Legal Writing Style (1995).

David Mellinkoff, Legal Writing: Sense & Nonsense (1982); and The Language of the Law (1963).

Richard K. Neumann, Jr., Legal Reasoning and Legal Writing: Structure, Strategy, & Style (3d ed. 1998).

Laurel Currie Oates et al., The Legal Writing Handbook: Analysis, Research, and Writing (2d ed. 1998).

Diana V. Pratt, Legal Writing: A Systematic Approach (3d ed. 1999).

Mary Barnard Ray & Jill Ramsfield, Legal Writing: Getting It Right and Getting It Written (2d ed. 1993). Mary Barnard Ray & Barbara J. Cox, Beyond the Basics: A Text for Advanced Legal Writing (1991).

Edward D. Re & Joseph R. Re, Brief Writing and Oral Argument (8th ed. 1999).

Marjorie Dick Rombauer, Legal Problem. Solving: Analysis, Research and Writing (5th ed. 1991).

Helene S. Shapo et al., Writing and Analysis in the Law (4th ed. 1999). A new edition from experienced writing teachers.

Nancy L. Schultz & Louis J. Sirico, Jr., Legal Writing and Other Lawyering Skills (3d ed. 1998).

William P. Statsky, Legal Research and Writing: Some Starting Points (5th ed. 1998).

Larry L. Teply, Legal Research and Citation (5th ed. 1999). Legal Writing, Analysis, and Oral Argument (1990).

Carol Ann Wilson, Plain Language Pleadings (1996).

Christopher G. Wren & Jill Robinson Wren, The Legal Research Manual: A Game Plan for Legal Research and Analysis (2d ed. reissued 1999) (1986).

Richard C. Wydick, Plain English for Lawyers (4th ed. 1998).

Legal Quotation Books

The Oxford Book of Legal Anecdotes (Michael Gilbert ed., 1989) (1986).

The Oxford Dictionary of American Legal Quotations (Fred R. Shapiro comp., 1993).

The Quotable Lawyer (Elizabeth Frost-Knappman & David S. Shrager eds., rev. ed. 1998).

Literature and Law

Language and the Law (John Gibbons ed., 1996) (1994).

Law in Literature: An Annotated Bibliography of Law-Related Works (Elizabeth Villiers Gemmette ed., 1998).

Legal Fictions: Short Stories About Lawyers and the Law (Jay Wishingrad ed., reissued ed. 1994) (1992).

Lenora Ledwon, Law and Literature: Text and Theory (1996).

David Margolick, At the Bar: The Passions and Peccadilloes of American Lawyers (1995). The essays are drawn from NYT columns.

Martha C. Nussbaum, Poetic Justice: The Literary Imagination and Public Life (1997) (1995).

Richard A. Posner, Law and Literature: A Misunderstood Relation (rev. & enl. ed. 1998) (1988).

James Boyd White, The Legal Imagination (abr. ed. 1985) (unabr. ed. 1973); and Heracles' Bow: Essays on the Rhetoric and Poetics of the Law (1985).

General Dictionaries: Unabridged and Collegiate

Skip this section if you're one who'd rather be watching wood age than cracking open a dictionary. But know that wordsmiths aren't impassive about their page-turners. They love, in a word, words. And books. And books on words. Simon Winchester, The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary (1998). Jonathon Green, Chasing the Sun: Dictionary Makers and the Dictionaries They Made (1996). Kenneth F. Kister, Kister's Best Dictionaries for Adults & Young People: A Comparative Guide (1992) and Dictionary Buying Guide: A Consumer Guide to General English-Language Wordbooks in Print (1977).

American Heritage College Dictionary (3d ed. 1997) (1993).

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (3d ed. 1992); The American Heritage Book of English Usage (1996).

The Century Dictionary: An Encyclopedic Lexicon of the English Language (rev. & enlarged ed. 1911) (1889). The multi-volume set is long out of print--as is my 1914 edition.

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (10th ed. 1998 prtg.) (1993). This retitled book abridges Webster's Third, another Merriam-Webster title.

Oxford Dictionary of Current English (1998). The Oxford Dictionary and Thesaurus: The Ultimate Language Reference for American Readers (Frank R. Abate ed., 1996).

Oxford English Dictionary, (OED2) (John A. Simpson & Edmund S.C. Weiner eds., 2d ed. 1989)--a 20-volume set. OED: Additions series (1993-97). Robert Burchfield, 1957-87 editor, strove to balance the bias that favoured [oops, favored] British English over American English.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary (Stuart Berg Flexner ed., rev. 2d ed. 1993) (renaming & rev. Random House Dictionary of the English Language, 2d unabr. ed. 1987).

Random House Webster's College Dictionary (2d ed. indexed ed., retypeset & reexamined 1999) (1997). Note too Random House Webster's College Thesaurus (rev. & updated 1998, 1997) (1984).

Webster's New World College Dictionary (4th ed. 1999); Webster's New World Dictionary and Thesaurus (1996); and Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language (1961).

Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language (Philip Babcock Gove ed., unabr. ed. 1993) (1961); Webster's New International Dictionary of the English Language (unabr. 2d ed. 1934). Merriam-Webster issued both editions. The prescriptive Second excludes nonstandard English terms; the descriptive Third embraces them. I keep the two tomes nearby.

Grammar, Usage and Syntax Guides

Theodore M. Bernstein, The Careful Writer: A Modern Guide to English Usage (1977) (1965); Dos, Don'ts & Maybes of English Usage (1977); Miss Thistlebottom's Hobgoblins: The Careful Writer's Guide to the Taboos, Bugbears and Outmoded Rules of English Usage (reissued 1991) (1971) [containing William Cullen Bryant's Index Expurgatorius, words to be avoided by Bryant's N.Y. Evening Post colleagues]; Watch Your Language (1958); More Language That Needs Watching (1962). Bernstein is a trustworthy usagist.

Roy H. Copperud, American Usage and Style: The Consensus (1980); and A Dictionary of Usage and Style (1964) (1957).

George O. Curme, A Grammar of the English Language) (2 vols., 6th VERBATIM prtg. 1986) (1931).

Bergen Evans & Cornelia Evans, A Dictionary of Contemporary American Usage (1957); Bergen Evans, Comfortable Words (1962).

James C. Fernald, English Grammar Simplified (rev. ed. 1957) (1916).

Rudolph Flesch, The ABC of Style: A Guide to Plain English (1964); and How to Be Brief: An Index to Simple Writing (1962).

Wilson Follett, Modern American Usage: A Guide (completed by Jacques Barzun ed., 1980) (1966). Among other Barzun books: On Writing, Editing, and Publishing (2d ed. 1986) (1971); and Simple & Direct: A Rhetoric for Writers (rev. ed. reissued 1994) (1985).

H.W. Fowler, A Dictionary of Modern English Usage (Sir Ernest Gowers rev., 2d rev. ed. 1965). The New Fowler's Modern English Usage (R.W. Burchfield ed., 3d ed. 1996). Burchfield, no "Gowers champion," differs in his editorial approach. My "Fowler's Solution" (like my Webster's 3d vs. 2d solution): Keep both books handy.

Henry Watson Fowler & Francis George Fowler, The King's English (reissued 1973) (3d ed. 1931) (1906); A Dictionary of Modern English Usage (1926).

Bryan A. Garner, A Dictionary of Modern American Usage (1998) -- a contemporary view. Note too The Elements of Legal Style (1991).

Patricia M. Godfrey, Grammatical Gleanings: Occasional Essays on Matters Grammatical, Syntactical, Idiomatic, Semantic, and Stylistic (The Editorial Freelancers Association, Inc. 1993).

Ernest Gowers, Plain Words (1948); The Complete Plain Words (1954).

Sidney Greenbaum, The Oxford English Grammar (1996).

Diana Hacker, A Writer's Reference (4th ed. 1999) (1989).

Constance Hale, Sin & Syntax: How to Craft Wickedly Effective Prose (1999)--from the witty editor who gave us Wired Style.

John Brian Heaton, Prepositions and Adverbial Particles (1966). This jolly good handbook from merry old England puts the preposition in its place.

Vincent F. Hopper et al., A Pocket Guide to Correct Grammar (Benjamin W. Griffith rev., Barron's Educational Series, Inc. 3d ed. 1997).

Godfrey Howard, The Good English Guide: English Usage in the 1990s (1993).

Edward D. Johnson, Handbook of Good English (rev. & updated 1991) (1982). A reliable usage arbiter.

Lauren Kessler & Duncan McDonald, When Words Collide: A Media Writer's Guide to Grammar and Style (5th ed. 1999).

James J. Kilpatrick, Fine Print: Reflections on the Writing Art (1993); The Ear Is Human: A Handbook of Homophones and Other Confusions (1985); and The Writer's Art (1984).

George Philip Krapp, The English Language in America, Vol. I and II (1960) (1925).

Longman Dictionary of American English (2d ed. 1997).

Albert H. Marckwardt & Fred Walcott, Facts About Current English Usage (1938).

James D. Maugans, The Grammatical Lawyer II, (ALI-ABA Committee on Continuing Professional Education 1996) [Morgan S. Freeman wrote Vol. I]. Both volumes began as Practical Lawyer columns.

Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English Usage (rev. ed. 1995) (1989). Merriam-Webster's Pocket Guide to English Usage (1998).

Michael Montgomery & John Stratton, The Writer's Hotline Handbook: A Guide to Good Usage and Effective Writing (1981).

William Morris & Mary Morris, Harper Dictionary of Contemporary Usage (2d ed. 1985).

Edwin Newman, A Civil Tongue (1976); and Strictly Speaking (1974).

Margaret Nicholson, A Dictionary of American-English Usage based on Fowler's Modern English Usage (1957).

Patricia T. O'Conner, Words Fail Me: What Everyone Who Writes Should Know About Writing (1999); and Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe's Guide to Better English in Plain English (1996). The former NYT Book Review editor leavens her usage with humor.

John Baker Opdycke, Say What You Mean: Everyman's Guide to Diction and Grammar (1944); Mark My Words: A Guide to Modern Usage and Expression (1949).

Eric Partridge, Usage and Abusage: A Guide to Good English (1942).

Mario Pei, The Many Hues of English (1967). Language Today: A Survey of Current Linguistic Thought (Mario Pei ed., 1967).

Thomas Pyles, Words and Ways of American English (1952).

Randolph Quirk, A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language (1985). Randolph Quirk & Sidney Greenbaum, A Concise Grammar of Contemporary English (1973).

Walter Raleigh, Style (reissued 1986) (1897).

Bernice Randall, Webster's New World Guide to Current American Usage (1988).

William A. Sabin, The Gregg Reference Manual (9th ed. 1999).

William Safire, Watching My Language (1997); In Love with Norma Loquendi (1994); Quoth the Maven: More on Language (1993); and Fumblerules: A Lighthearted Guide to Grammar and Good Usage (1990). I shudder when fictive Ms. Loquendi says, "It is me," yet I pore over Safire's NYT Magazine column, On Language.

Harry Shaw, Errors in English and Ways to Correct Them (1962).

William Strunk, Jr. & E.B. White, Elements of Style (4th ed. 2000) (1999) (1959). In his Foreword, White's stepson, Roger Angell, notes that contemporary sensibilities are recognized (balanced pronouns, poet Plath over Keats, word processors).

Joseph M. Williams, Style: Ten Lessons in Clarity & Grace (6th ed. 1999) (1981). A winning do-it-yourself style book.

Kenneth G. Wilson, The Columbia Guide to Standard American English (1999) (1993).

William Zinsser, On Writing Well (6th rev. & updated ed. 1998).

Style Manuals

The Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual (Norm Goldstein ed., updated & rev. 1998).

The Chicago Manual of Style (14th ed. 1993).

Joseph Gibaldi & Herbert Lindenberger, The MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing (Modern Language Association, 2d ed. 1998) (1985).

Government Printing Office Style Manual (U.S. Government Printing Office 1986).

Merriam-Webster's Standard American Style Manual (reissued 1994) (1985).

The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage (Allan M. Siegal & William G. Connolly eds., rev. & expanded ed. 1999).

21st Century Manual of Style (The Princeton Language Institute 1993).

UPI Stylebook: The Authoritative Handbook for Writers, Editors & News Directors (Robert McNeill ed., United Press International Editorial Staff, 3d ed. 1992). Also a 1999 release.

Thomas L. Warren, Words into Type (4th ed. 1992).

New-word Collections

John Ayto, The Longman Register of New Words (1989).

Clarence L. Barnhart at al., The Barnhart Dictionary of New English Since 1963 (BDNE) (1973); The Second BDNE (1980); Robert K. Barnhart et al., The Third BDNE (1990). David K. Barnhart, Neo-Words (1991). The Barnhart New Words Concordance (supp. ed. 1995).

Chambers 21st Century Dictionary (1997).

Fifty Years Among the New Words: A Dictionary of Neologisms, 1941-1991 (John Algeo ed., reprint 1993) (1991).

Jonathon Green, Tuttle Dictionary of New Words Since 1960 (reissued 1992) (1991).

Sid Larner & Gary S. Belkin, Trash Cash, Fizzbos, and Flatliners: A Dictionary of Today's Words, published too as A Dictionary of New Words (1993).

The New Age Dictionary (Alex Jack ed., 1990) (1976).

The Oxford Dictionary of New Words (Elizabeth M. Knowles & Julia Elliott eds., 2d reprint ed. 1999) (1997).

Curious Catchalls

Abbreviations & Acronymic Tools. Acronyms, Initialisms & Abbreviations Dictionary Supplement (Mary Rose Bonk ed., 25th ed. supp. 1999)--Also Reverse editions. Steven Racek Kleinedler, Short Cuts: The Dictionary of Useful Abbreviations (NTC 1997). The Oxford Dictionary of Abbreviations (2d ed. 1998).

Biographical Works. Larousse Biographical Dictionary (5th ed. 1994). Webster's Concise Biographical Dictionary (Merriam-Webster's Pocket Biographical Dictionary reissued 1997) (1996).

Gender-Neutral Works. John M. Conley & William M. O'Barr, Just Words: Law, Language, & Power (1998). This book claims to view thorny issues (rape trials, discrimination, patriarchy) through the lens of legal process. Val Dumond, Elements of Nonsexist Usage: Guide to Inclusive Spoken and Written English (1991). Robin Lakoff, Language and Woman's Place (reissued 1976) (1975). Rosalie Maggio, The Bias-Free Word Finder: A Dictionary of Nondiscriminatory Language (reissued 1992) (1991). Casey Miller & Kate Swift, The Handbook of Nonsexist Writing (2d ed. 1988) (1980).

Geographical Works. In a world of daily geopolitical restructuring, waste not your nest-eggs on long-lasting, leather-bound gazetteers. Alberto Manguel & Gianni Guadalupi, The Dictionary of Imaginary Places (expanded ed. 1987). National Geographic Atlas of the World (John F. Shupe, chief cartographer, 6th rev. ed. 1992)--a book worth its size. Merriam-Webster's Geographical Dictionary (3d ed. 1997). New York Times Atlas of the World (1997). New Comparative World Atlas (Hammond 1998). Contemporary World Atlas (Rand McNally 1996).

Idioms Delight: Cliches, Phrases, Proverbs, Slang. John Ayto & John Simpson, The Oxford Dictionary of Modern Slang (reprint 1994) (1992). Anne Bertram, NTC's Dictionary of Proverbs and Cliches (1997). Brewer's Dictionary of Twentieth Century Phrase and Fable (reissued 1992) (1991). Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (Ivor Evans rev., 15th ed. 1995) (1870). Dictionary of American Slang (Robert L. Chapman ed., 3d ed. 1995). Esther Lewin & Albert E. Lewin, The Thesaurus of Slang (rev. ed. 1997) (1988). William & Mary Morris, Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins (2d ed. 1988). Eric Partridge, Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English (8th ed. 1984); and A Dictionary of Cliches (5th ed. 1978). Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang, Vol. II, H-O (J.E. Lighter ed. 1997), and Vol. I, A-G. Richard A. Spears, NTC's American Idioms Dictionary (2d ed. 1994); and NTC's Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs and Other Idiomatic Verbal Phrases (1993). Tony Thorne, The Dictionary of Contemporary Slang: With More Than 5,000 Racy and Raffish Colloquial Expressions--From America, Great Britain, Australia, the Carib (reissued 1991) (1990).

Language and Linguistic Tools. Bill Bryson, Made in America: An In formal History of the English Language in the United States (1994); and The Penguin Dictionary of Troublesome Words (1984). David Crystal, The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language (2d ed. 1997) (1987); The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language (1997) (1995); and An Encyclopedic Dictionary of Language and Languages (1994) (1992). R.R.K. Hartmann & F.C. Stork, Dictionary of Language and Linguistics (1976) (1972). Kenneth Katzner, The Languages of the World (new ed. 1995) (1977). Robert McCrum at al., The Story of English (rev, ed. 1993) (1987). The Oxford Companion to the English Language (Tom McArthur ed., abr. ed. 1996) (1992). Steven Pinker, The Language Instinct (reissued 1995) (1994). (R.L. Trask, A Dictionary of Grammatical Terms in Linguistics (1993).

Literary Tools. Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia (Bruce Murphy ed., 4th ed. 1996); Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia of American Literature (George Perkins at al. eds., 1991).

Language Journals. American Speech: A Quarterly of Linguistic Usage (Connie C. Eble ed., American Dialect Society). Clarity (Mark Adler ed., Surrey, U.K. [The U.S. rep is Joe Kimble, Thomas M. Cooley Law School]). Copy Editor: Language News for the Publishing Profession (Mary Beth Protomastro ed.). Legal Writing: The Journal of the Legal Writing Institute (Louis J. Sirico, Jr., ed.). The Scribes Journal of Legal Writing (Gary Spivey, ed., Scribes--The American Society of Writers on Legal Subjects). Spell/Binder (Richard Dowis ed., Society for the Preservation of English Language and Literature).

Punctuation Tools. Robert Brittain, A Pocket Guide to Correct Punctuation (2d ed. 1990). Karen E. Gordon, The Well-Tempered Sentence: A Punctuation Handbook for the Innocent, the Eager, and the Doomed (1983). Harry Shaw, Punctuate It Right! (1963).

Quotation Tools. Robert Andrews, The Columbia Dictionary of Quotations (1993). Barbed Quotes: Mudslinging, Backstabbing and Celebrity Dirt Dishing (Cohn M. Jarman comp., 1999). Bartlett's Familiar Quotations (Justin Kaplan ed., 16th ed. 1992). The Enlarged Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce (Ernest J. Hopkins comp. & ed., 1967). A New Dictionary of Quotations on Historical Principles from Ancient & Modern Sources (H.L. Mencken ed., 1942)--a wit's peerless collection. The New Quotable Woman (Elaine Partnow comp. & ed., reissued 1993) (1992). The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Quotations (Peter Kemp comp., 1997). The Oxford Dictionary of 20th Century Quotations (Elizabeth Knowles ed., 1998). The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations (5th ed. 1999). Random House Webster's Quotationary (Leonard Roy Frank ed., 1999). Nigel Rees, Brewer's Quotations (1998). Simpson's Contemporary Quotations: The Most Notable Quotes from 1950 to the Present (James B. Simpson ed., rev. ed. 1997). The Travellers' Dictionary of Quotation: Who Said What, About Where? (Peter Yapp ed., 1983).

Regional Phrasing : Delactable Collectables. Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE), Vol. I (A-C) (Frederic G. Cassidy ed., 1985); DARE Vol. II (D-H) (Frederic G. Cassidy & Joan H. Hall eds., 1991); DARE Vol. III (1-0) (Joan Houston Hall, asso. ed.). Volume Four will hold the letters P-S.

Reverse & Visual Dictionaries. These troves retrieve the elusive word. Theodore M. Bernstein, Bernstein's Reverse Dictionary (David Grambs ed., 2d ed. 1988). Stephen Glazier, Random House Word Menu (rev. ed. 1997). Illustrated Reverse Dictionary: Find the Words on the Tip of Your Tongue (Reader's Digest 1990). The Macmillan Visual Dictionary (1994). The Oxford Reverse Dictionary (David Edmonds comp., 1999). David Macaulay, The New Way Things Work (1998). Reginald Bragonier, Jr., & David Fisher, What's What: A Visual Glossary of the Physical World (1990). Ultimate Visual Dictionary (J. Evans ed., 1998) (1994).

Thesauri and Word Oddities. William F. Buckley, Jr., The Lexicon (1996). Claurene duGran, Wordsmanship, a Dictionary (1981). Eugene Ehrlich, The Highly Selective Thesaurus for the Extraordinarily Literate (1994). David Grambs, The Describer's Dictionary (1993); Dimboxes, Epopts, and Other Quidams: Words to Describe Life's Indescribable People (1986). S.I. Hayakawa, Choose the Right Word: A Modern Guide to Synonyms (1968). Rodale resources: The Synonym Finder by J.I. Rodale (Laurence Urdang & Nancy LaRoche revs. & eds., 1986); The Phrase Finder (Jerome Irving Rodale comp. & Edward J. Fluck collab., 1953); and The Word Finder (J.I. Rodale, comp. & ed., new ed. 1952) (1947). Adrian Room, Room's Dictionary of Distinguishables (reissued 1982) (1981); Dictionary of Changes in Meaning (1986). A.F. Sisson, Sisson's Word and Expression Locater (2d ed. 1994). Deborah K. Williams, NTC's Dictionary of Easily Confused Words (1995). Laurence Urdang, The Dictionary of Confusable Words (1988).

Writer's Block. Peter Elbow, Writing Without Teachers (2d ed. 1998) (1973); and Writing with Power: Techniques for Mastering the Writing Process (2d ed. 1998)--Elbow rolls up his sleeves. Jeanne H. Simpson, The Elements of Invention (1990)--a slim hook offering stout hints to foil the writer's block demon. Donald M. Murray, The Craft of Re vision (3d ed. 1998) (1991). This Time and Boston Globe writer is a Pulitzer Prize winner.

Miscellany. David M. Brownstone & Irene M. Franck, Dictionary of 20th Century History. (1990). Sylvia Cola & Abraham H. Lass, Dictionary of 20th Century Allusions (Facts on File 1991). Richard Lederer, Anguished English: An Anthology of Accidental Assaults upon Our Language (1987). H.L. Mencken, The American Language: An Inquiry into the Development of English in the United States (4th ed. supp. 1952) (1948) (1936)--the insights not of a linguistics expert but "of a journalist interested in language."

Kudos and Resolutions

I am grateful to University of Miami School of Law library staffers for painstaking cooperation: Clara Membiela, Virginia Templeton, Sue Ann Campbell, Barbara Cuadras.

For the next millennium, let's resolve to treasure the word; assess writing strengths; sharpen lawyering skills; ferret out flaws; and balance our lives--professional and personal. In the Year 2000, may our resolutions be realized.

Marlyne Marzi Kaplan, a Florida lawyer, is a former News usage columnist ("The Language of Law") and Journal and News editorial-board chair. On the adjunct faculty of the University of Miami School of Law, Kaplan teaches Advanced Legal Writing and Law Language and Literature.
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Date:Nov 1, 1999
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