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New Hart's Rules
The handbook of style for writers and editors

Ritter, R.M.
Publisher:  Oxford University Press
Year Published:  2005   First Published:  2002
Pages:  417pp   Price:  $29.95   ISBN:  0-19-861041-6

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This is an adaptation of The Oxford Guide to Style authored by R.R. Ritter and published by Oxford in 2002. It was originally published in 1893 as Hart's Rules for Compositors and Readers at the University Press, and had gone through 39 editions. It is an essential handbook of style for editors, writers, and typesetters. You cannot have too many style books. (Some even get turned into operas, such as Strunk and White in NYC October 2005). The New Hart's Rules is a return to the original name and small handbook format. It is part of a trio, which also includes New Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors and New Oxford Spelling Dictionary. Ritter has assembled basic information on publishing terms (parts of the book and copy preparation), punctuation and hyphenation, capitalization, headings and titles, quotations and titles for citations, and bibliographies-notes-indexes for accurate standard referencing. Detail extends to type and font treatments, abbreviations and symbols, languages and legal references, sci-tech terms, tables, lists and illustrations, and proofreading marks.

* Audience or interest level: academics, students, libraries, wordsmiths, almost everyone with an interest in writing.

* Some interesting facts: ""Orphans" are the first line of a paragraph at the bottom of a page or column; "widows" are the last line of a paragraph at the top of a new page or column. If you cannot keep them straight, then you are not alone#Just say "widows and orphans", and you will have covered the issue.

* What I don't like about this resource (its shortcomings): it is meant for Oxford Press and it has a strong British orientation. Examples are sourced from the Oxford English Corpus database.

* What I do like about this resource (its positives): "Recommended by SFEP Society for Editors and Proofreaders". There is an extensive index, of course.

Quality-to-Price Ratio: 94

[Review by Dean Tudor]


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