Copywriting: An Open-Book Test

A wise teacher once told me, you don’t have to know all the answers — you just have to know where to find them.

How true . . . especially in regard to writing. The rules of English are too numerous and complicated to keep straight without reference. Those who wade into the word-sea had better know when and where to check their usage.

I have my own favorite places to look, including Apple’s dictionary and thesaurus. However, on any given day, I’ll find myself consulting one or more volumes in the list below. I wonder . . . what’s on your shelf?

Wordman’s Reference Shelf
  • Dictionary of American Slang 3rd Edition (Chapman with Kipfer)
  • The Elements of Style (Strunk and White)
  • The Elements of Editing (Arthur Plotnik)
  • The Elements of Grammar (Margaret Shertzer)
  • The Online Copywriter’s Handbook (Robert W. Bly)
  • On the Art of Writing Copy (Herschell Gordon Lewis)
  • Harper Dictionary of Contemporary Usage (William and Mary Morris)
  • American Medical Association Manual of Style
  • Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary
  • NTC’s Dictionary of Latin and Greek Origins
  • American Heritage Dictionary of American Quotations
  • 1000 Most Important Words (Norman Schur)
  • The New College Latin & English Dictionary
  • Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual
  • The Gregg Reference Manual (Sabin)
  • American Heritage College Dictionary
  • Roget’s College Thesaurus in Dictionary Form

What do you think?