June 5, 2005
Ever find yourself working on a brief when you are suddenly confronted by a grammar quandary causing a flashback to fourth grade English class. Hmmm… is “although” preceded by a comma or not?
Attorneys are often judged by their attention to details. A letter filled with grammatical errors can be an embarrassment and may cost you a client.
An outstanding reference book to combat these kinds of problems is called “The Gregg Reference Manual,” authored by William A. Sabin, now in its tenth edition. A more comprehensive style manual does not exist. It covers everything from the proper use of punctuation, to creating bibliographies. It even tells you the proper way to fold a business letter! The book is conveniently arranged into 18 logical sections and contains a useful index that makes finding the answer you are looking for a fairly simple matter. True to the boasting on the rear cover, you will find answers in this book that you will not find anywhere else, and the author has also thrown in smatterings of personal wisdom and suggestions throughout.
At $40.40 retail (Amazon.com) the price is cheap considering the wealth of information it contains. If you take pains to present a polished image to your adversaries and clients alike, this book should be your next purchase.