The creation of a database of English usage guides and usage problems: the Hyper Usage Guide of English, or HUGE-database, is one of the sub-projects within Bridging the Unbridgeable. It is the first database to combine more than two hundred years of usage advice into a single reference library.
The HUGE-database contains usage guides from the entire history of the genre, starting in 1770 with the publication of the first ever usage guide, Robert Baker’s Reflections on the English Language in 1770, up to the present day with one of the most recently published usage guides, Simon Heffer’s Strictly English.
The databse will also include such evergreens and best-sellers as Henry Fowler’s Dictionary of Modern English Usage (perhaps the most famous usage guide of them all) Bryan Garner’s Modern American Usage, Strunk & White’s Elements of Style and Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss.
We are still in the process of compiling the database, so it keeps growing all the time. We are currently working on an extension, which includes bibliographic information of secondary sources that deal with specific usage guides or usage problems. For now, the database can only be used in the project Bridging the Unbridgeable, but pending current copyright negotiations, we would like to eventually make the database more widely available.
Users can expect to find detailed advice on many usage problems in the English language, and will be able to compare usage advice across guides, across time and two varieties of English.
This is honestly one of the most exciting things I’ve read in a while. I can’t wait to see it.
Thanks, I’m very pleased to hear it. We’ve been working on it for a while now, but we’ve only started to publicise it quite recently. Sofar, most people I’ve talked to about the database have reacted very positively to it.
I’m sure you’ve answered this before, but how do you reconcile this with copyright law? Have you gotten permission from Bryan Garner?
You’re right. At this stage, we’re merely collecting the data and compiling the database. But copyright is something we have to address when we want to make it publicly available.
I can hardly wait until this is publicly available. This project is very exciting.
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