The other day my friend Joanne wrote to ask me how to render the word “by laws.” She said Google had suggested “by laws,” and a legal website had offered “by-laws.”
“Which is correct?” she asked.
Neither. That is why it is important to check respected expert sources. I let Joanne know that four of my highly reputable, up-to-date guides to usage recommend “bylaws.”
Do current reference books fill your bookshelves or exist on your desktop? They should. Google is not an expert on correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Neither are websites whose authors don’t consult the experts.
In the current issue of Better Writing at Work, I offer my list of recommended books for the business writer’s bookshelf. For details about the books, subscribe to my free monthly e-newsletter here.
These are my recommendations:
- Garner’s Modern American Usage, Third Edition
- The Gregg Reference Manual, Tribute 11th Edition
- The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition
- The Associated Press 2010 Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law
- The American Heritage College Dictionary, Fourth Edition, Copyright 2010
- Canadian Oxford Dictionary, Second Edition
- Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition, Copyright 2009
- Real Leaders Don’t Do PowerPoint: How to Sell Yourself and Your Ideas, by Christopher Witt
- Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, by Dan and Chip Heath
- Why Business People Speak Like Idiots, by Brian Fugere, Chelsea Hardaway, and Jon Warshawsky
- Clarity, Conciseness, Zing, and More: 262 Ways to Take Business Writing Beyond the Basics, written by me
As a writer, do you consult other treasured resources? If so, please share them.