Benjamin Dreyer

12 Oct 2019
11:10 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Morristown Library

Benjamin Dreyer


Benjamin Dreyer is vice president, executive managing editor and copy chief, of Random House. He began his publishing career as a freelance proofreader and copy editor. In 1993, he became a production editor at Random House, overseeing books by writers including Michael Chabon, Edmund Morris, Suzan-Lori Parks, Michael Pollan, Peter Straub, and Calvin Trillin. He has copy-edited books by authors including E. L. Doctorow, David Ebershoff, Frank Rich, and Elizabeth Strout, as well as Let Me Tell You, a volume of previously uncollected work by Shirley Jackson. A graduate of Northwestern University, he lives in New York City.

MFOB FEATURED BOOK: Dreyer’s English

From Random House’s copy chief, Dreyer’s English offers lessons on punctuation, from the underloved semicolon to the enigmatic en dash; the rules and non-rules of grammar, including why it’s okay to begin a sentence with “And” or “But” and to confidently split an infinitive; and why it’s best to avoid the doldrums of the Wan Intensifiers and Throat Clearers, including “very,” “rather,” “of course,” and the dreaded “actually.” And, Dreyer confirms, once and for all, “Only godless savages eschew the series comma.”

Chockful of advice, insider wisdom, and fun facts, this book will prove to be invaluable to everyone who wants to shore up their writing skills, mandatory for people who spend their time editing and shaping other people’s prose, and — perhaps best of all — an utter treat for anyone who simply revels in language.

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