Gowers, Ernest






(1880–1966) A British civil servant best known for his style guides. In 1948, at the invitation of HM Treasury he wrote Plain Words, a guide to English usage that was designed to get British officials to change their pompous, verbose ways. It was so successful that Treasury asked for a sequel, The ABC of Plain Words, which was published in 1951.

Both of these books were paperbacks. Their success led the Stationery Office to commission a hardback version, The Complete Plain Words, which was published in 1954.

After that, Gowers was asked by the Oxford University Press to prepare a new edition of Fowler's Modern English Usage. This was published in 1965 and has remained in print for three decades.


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