updating Garner

One would think that it would be a simple thing to order and receive a copy of the new fifth edition of Bryan Garner’s Modern English Usage, wouldn’t one? Guess not.

Garner coverI was looking forward to the release of the book, which I had preordered. It was published on November 17, and as an Amazon Prime member I expected it within a day or two of publication. I had wanted the Kindle edition, but Amazon did not show it available in that format. November 14 arrived and Amazon told me I could expect the book on November 29. Say what? At that point it also showed a Kindle edition. I tried to cancel my hardcover order, but Amazon responded by telling me, “Unfortunately, we weren’t able to cancel the items you requested and these items will soon be shipped.”

Their claim of “will soon be shipped” notwithstanding, Amazon took its time getting the book into the pipeline. Eventually it made its way from Chambersburg, PA and Baltimore, MD on the East Coast to San Bernardino and then San Diego, CA here on the West Coast, where Amazon handed it over to the United States Postal Service, and thence to my local Hemet post office.

From here the post office took its time. Tracking showed that it was “Out for Delivery” on Saturday, November 26, but the postman never delivered it; it ended up back at the post office that same day with a status of “Ready for Pickup.” Again, say what? I completed the provided online redelivery request and the book showed up in my mailbox on Monday, after our regular mail delivery.

I have it now, though, and I’m happy to have the latest edition of Garner there on my shelf. I look forward to making good use of it, both for reference and for browsing.



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