"Modern American Usage" by Follett, revised by Wensberg—Good or crap?

I was at the “Book Warehouse” and saw Modern American Usage—A Guide by Willson Follett, revised by Erik Wensberg, for a mere five bucks. For five bucks? I figured: What the hell, and picked it up.

I am curious to read the thoughts of the folks at the SDMB on this book. Is at good, authoritative reference? Or is it crap? Or somewhere in between? Why do you feel this way about it?

Thanks much.

By the way, I have undertaken a search for more online info and I have found zip.

So please don’t be shy to share your thoughts about the book!

You searched the Internet but didn’t bother to go to Amazon for reviews?

Yes, I did. But who are those people?! According to usage.english.alt, or some effin’ thing like that, there are partisans for and against the book; but no explanations why. One place I found compared it to an edition of another usage classic that is universally hated. I was hoping to hear reviews from the superior types of folk who know about this sort of thing, since I couldn’t find much else online other than vague references and anonymous reviews on Amazon. But thanks for the heads up!

I have the original, and like most of Follett’s views and critiques (I despise his belabored shall/will analysis in about 15 pages, but that’s neither here nor there). I haven’t seen the Wensberg revision, so cannot comment on it.

OOOOH!! Could you summarize? I am looking at a thorough analysis of shall vs. will.

Well, unlike us they’re people who have actually seen the book. :slight_smile: And they give their real names which is a lot more than anonymous us can say!

Well, my revised version doesn’t have a detailed discussion—it was dropped by the guy revising it and replaced by a less technical discussion. Basically, instead of rules there are now guidelines: Shall is to will as should is to would, I guess, and shall is used when extra emphasis is wanted—and even then it can also be used for a softer edge (“shall we dance?”).