Author Archives: Ingrid Tieken

Who is Harry Blamires?

There, I’ve done it again: I found another usage guide at our local (Dutch!) charity shop Het Warenhuis. How did the book end up in the Netherlands? There is no ownership inscription unfortunately, so we won’t know who the former … Continue reading

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Bennett’s Wordfinder

This is an index to the second edition of Fowler’s Modern English Usage, based on the version revised by Sir Ernest Gowers (1965). Paul Bennett has written elsewhere on this blog, about Fowler’s humour. Why need an index to a work that … Continue reading

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The New Usage Guide … Television!

All the students in my MA course Testing Prescriptivism had to write two blogposts. So here is Jasper Spierenburg’s second one: With statistics showing that the average American watches over five hours of television a day, it is hard for … Continue reading

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When Literally means Literally…

Jasper Spierenburg is another of my MA students working on prescriptivism. Here is his first blogpost: Literally is an adverb that leaves a lot of listeners in an absolute state of disbelief. Paralyzed and shell-shocked they try to recover from … Continue reading

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Want to write like a spy?

It appears that even the CIA has a style guide. A secret one no less, one that got leaked moreover, according to The Guardian Online yesterday. The Guardian article tells us that the style guide includes well-known “old chestnuts”  like uninterested/disinterested, … Continue reading

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The Fourth of July and 500 Mistakes of Daily Occurrence

Since it is the fourth of July today, I might perhaps draw on the possibility that many people will be Googling for “Independence Day” or indeed “the fourth of July” to invoke their help in identifying a reference. I’ve already … Continue reading

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What’s happening to punctuation?

Going up to London for the day yesterday, we took the train to London King’s Cross. Not surprisingly (we all know what’s been happening to the apostrophe) the announcement on the train didn’t show the apostrophe. But if punctuation marks are … Continue reading

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