The Canadian Style: A Guide to Writing and Editing. Rev. ed.


311 pages
Contains Bibliography, Index
ISBN 1-55002-276-8
DDC 808'.02





Reviewed by Sarah Robertson

Sarah Robertson is the trade, scholarly, and reference editor of the
Canadian Book Review Annual.


The first edition of The Canadian Style was published in 1985, in
co-operation with the Department of the Secretary of State of Canada.
Like its predecessor, this revised and expanded edition is intended to
“provide solutions, in a readily accessible format, to problems
regularly encountered by both professional and occasional writers.”

The book’s 16 chapters cover abbreviations, hyphenation, spelling,
capitalization, numerical expressions, italics, punctuation, quotations
and quotation marks, reference matter, letters and memorandums, reports
and minutes, usage, plain language, elimination of stereotyping in
written communications, geographical names, and revision and
proofreading. The presentation of French-language material in English
documents is the subject of an appendix.

The chapter on plain language is new to this edition. Many other
chapters have been expanded; the chapter on letters and memorandums, for
example, contains a new section on electronic mail. As in the first
edition, the Gage Canadian Dictionary is the recommended authority for
spelling, hyphenation and compounding, and capitalization.

Despite some debatable prescriptions (for example, avoiding use of the
serial comma), this is a valuable reference work for Canadian writers
and editors, particularly those employed in the public service.


Williams, Malcolm., “The Canadian Style: A Guide to Writing and Editing. Rev. ed.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 23, 2024,