Bryan Garner

Bryan Garner

Bryan A. Garner is the award-winning author of more than 20 books. He’s a lexicographer, a grammarian, a lawyer, and most recently a memoirist. His magnum opus is the fourth edition of Garner’s Modern English Usage, published by Oxford University Press—an 1,100-page book that uses big data in the assessment of English words and phrases. In the legal world, he is best known as the editor in chief of the past four editions of Black’s Law Dictionary, the most widely cited lawbook in the world. He is the most frequently cited scholar in U.S. Supreme Court opinions. Last year, the Supreme Court cited 4 of his books a total of 14 times in its 79 merits cases—about 15% of its caseload. At SMU Dedman School of Law, where he has taught since 1990, he holds the title Distinguished Research Professor of Law. He also teaches at the law schools of the University of Texas and Texas A&M. In D Magazine, the noted writer Paul Kix called Garner the “foremost lexicographer of our time.” Writing in Harper’s magazine, the late novelist and essayist David Foster Wallace called Garner “a genius, though of a rather particular kind. He’s both a lawyer and a lexicographer, which seems a bit like being both a narcotics dealer and a DEA agent.”

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