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COMPLETE PLAIN WORDS, The. A book written by Sir Ernest GOWERS, a senior British civil servant, the 1st edition published in 1954 by Her Majesty's Stationery Office. The book was based on two slimmer books that he wrote at the invitation of the British Treasury, Plain Words (1948) and The ABC of Plain Words (1951), which gave advice to civil servants on the writing of official English. TCPW became a classic guide to good writing and has been reprinted many times. There have been two subsequent editions. Both endeavoured to retain as much as possible of Gowers's original text, but revisions were needed to take account of changes in the language or in the practice of writers. The 2nd edition (1973) was by Sir Bruce Fraser and the 3rd edition (1986) by Sidney GREENBAUM and Janet Whitcut. See PLAIN, USAGE GUIDANCE AND CRITICISM.