Correspondence from Mr. Bryan A. Garner

Today could not be any more divine.  Siouxsie received an e-mail from none other than Mr. Bryan A. Garner!  For those who are not familiar with Mr. Garner and his work, he is the world’s foremost expert on legal writing; he is one of the greatest legal-writer writers of our time!

You can read his e-mail below:
From: “Information” <>
To: “Information” <>
Date: Wed, 21 Oct 2009 15:55:28 -0500
Subject: A Personal Appeal from Bryan Garner

If you’re a fan of my usage tips and Garner’s Modern American Usage…

I have a favor to ask of you as a loyal reader: In the next few hours or days, would you please go to or and buy one or more copies of the new third edition of Garner’s Modern American Usage as holiday presents? In fact, keep this gift possibility in mind through the end of the year, won’t you?

I need your help in sending a message to the major bookstore chains: they’re not stocking the book because they’ve told Oxford University Press that they consider usage guides a “defunct category.” It’s maddeningly unbelievable. Please help me show them that they’re stupendously wrong.

Meanwhile, in the coming months you might ask about the book when you’re in a bookstore: ask the managers why they don’t stock copies, and encourage them to do so.

If you’re curious to see what effect you’re having, watch the rankings on or in coming days and weeks. We’ll be alerting the major chains to those numbers, and we want to get as close to the top 50 as we can. If you’re trying to order and see that the book is labeled “out of stock,” order anyway: the effort is also to ensure that the online booksellers keep adequate stocks.

In return for this favor – it’s a grassroots effort – I’ll be happy to inscribe copies that you send to LawProse for that purpose, if you (1) include a filled-out FedEx airbill for returning them to you, and (2) suggest an appropriate inscription.

Thank you for whatever help you can provide in this endeavor to show booksellers that the concern for good English is alive and well.

Bryan A. Garner


Needless to say, Siouxsie did what any other starstruck blogger would; she nervously crafted a reply.  Find it below.

Dear Mr. Garner:

Thank you for thinking of me during what appears to be difficult times.  I am an avid fan of your writing and tips.

As it happens, I have experienced what you described.  When I recently tried to purchase your usage book, I couldn’t find it anywhere.  After several months and many trips to different bookstores, I ended up purchasing it on the internet.

I will certainly keep you in mind when thinking of holiday gifts this season.  And I will ask my local bookstore to stock your usage book again.

In return, I ask only that if you ever need to refer to an offbeat-gothic-legal blog, please think of me.  Or if you ever have any especially creepy or dark legal-writing tips, please send them my way.

Thank you for all your help over the years,

Siouxsie Law


~ by siouxsielaw on October 22, 2009.

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