The English explained here is the formal, classical variety. Harold Bloom would love the chapter dedicated to figurative language, in which sophisticated components like synecdoche and metonymy are discussed. The text has a vintage feel; some expressions and contexts seem outdated. But the corrective lessons provided here are valuable in the present. English is morphing quickly in the information age. A foundational understanding of the language will help listeners to write and speak intentionally in an era of linguistic cheats and distortions. Narrator Shawn Grisden’s brisk yet fey performance of author Devlin’s mannered text will transport listeners to the freshman classrooms of year 1910. Grisden’s old-fashioned voice will help listeners enjoy the nostalgia while learning.
This book has no pretension about it whatever - it is neither a Manual of Rhetoric, expatiating on the dogmas of style, nor a Grammar full of arbitrary rules and exceptions. It is merely an effort to help ordinary, everyday people to express themselves in ordinary, everyday language, in a proper manner. Some broad rules are laid down, the observance of which will enable the reader to keep within the pale of propriety in oral and written language. Many idiomatic words and expressions, peculiar to the language, have been given, besides which a number of the common mistakes and pitfalls have been placed before the reader so that he may know and avoid them.