Have you heard about Ammon Shea, the man who’d read all twenty volumes of the Oxford English Dictionary and then written a memoir about it? When I’d heard about him I became jealous. Ever since I can remember I’ve wanted to read an entire dictionary. I’ve never done it though. I have, however, read some style and grammar guides from cover like Strunk and White’s The Element of Style (a few times–who hasn’t?), Karen Elizabeth Gordon’s The New Well-Tempered Sentence and The Deluxe Transitive Vampire (both excellent and fun to read), and, most recently, the technical manual Grammar Desk Reference by Gary Lutz and Diane Stevenson. Besides a number of dictionaries, I often thumb through the Chicago Manual of Style and Garner’s Modern American Usage. Which reminds me: check out this article on the so-called usage wars by David Foster Wallace.
So what about you? What grammar, usage, and style guides do you prefer?