Simon Heffer’s incisive and amusingly despairing emails to colleagues at The Daily Telegraph about grammatical mistakes and stylistic slips have found their way on to the internet and have attracted a growing band of ardent fans over recent years. Now, in his new book Strictly English, he makes an impassioned case for an end to the sloppiness that has become such a hallmark of everyday speech and writing, and shows how accuracy and clarity are within the grasp of anyone who is prepared to take the time to master a few simple rules.
If you wince when you see “different than” in print, or are offended by people who think that “infer” and “imply” mean the same thing, then this book will provide reassurance that you are not alone. If you have a suspicion that it is wrong to say “the car collided with the tree” but are not quite sure why, then it will set you straight. And if you believe the precise and elegant English really does matter, then it will prove required reading.