Author Archives: Robin Straaijer

About Robin Straaijer

Linguist of English prescriptivism and standards. Lover of photography and comedy.

What makes a usage guide? 

During the construction of the HUGE database, I have been thinking about the genre of usage guides a lot for the simple, practical purpose of determining which titles would be put in the database, and which would not. Edmund Weiner asked … Continue reading

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English Usage (Guides) Symposium: registration

The page for the English Usage (Guides) Symposium at the University of Cambridge (see the above menu bar) provides the programme, abstracts and information on how to register. Registration can also be done here. The fee for the Symposium is £30 only: don’t wait too long before … Continue reading

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These are literally my favourite expressions

I think we all have our opinions about the use of the word literally as an intensifier in expressions where it doesn’t literally mean literally. Personally, it doesn’t usually bother me, so for me there is hardly an ‘incorrect’ use … Continue reading

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update About page

It was long overdue, but we’ve updated the About page. It now also features our new project assistent Inge Otto, whose post you will have already seen come by if you regularly visit this site. Inge joined the project in September … Continue reading

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Attitudes to usage: a thought experiment

Imagine you’re sitting at a big table as part of a large group of people. It could be a cafe, it could be a restaurant, it could be a meeting at work. Some of the people at the table are … Continue reading

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I decided that the project Bridging the Unbridgeable needed some art to use on publicised materials, so I came up with the following image, using a Bananagrams game and my coffee table top for a background.My English-language Scrabble set led … Continue reading

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Favourite language blogs (results)

The what-are-your-favourite-language-blogs poll posted in June is now closed. Surprisingly, a little more than half of the answers were given as write-ins in the option ‘other’. Here are the results. First, a thank-you to those who voted for this blog, we’re very … Continue reading

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Favourite language blogs

Our blogroll on this site shows the language blogs that we like. But we would also like to know which ones are your favourites?

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Wanted: Usage Guide Writers (f)

Our current strategy for deciding which usage guides to enter into our database of English usage guides and usage problems has been to identify different categories of usage guides and focus our efforts on acquiring the guides that fit into these categories. … Continue reading

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Latest conference news

Latest conference headline: follow us on Twitter – hashtag #PrescrConf2013 new paper by Charlotte Brewer (University of Oxford) on prescriptivism and the English school curriculum. Here is the new abstract (Grammarian Gove). Registration for the Leiden conference Prescription and Tradition in Language on 12-14 June … Continue reading

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