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.

unidentified writer

unidentified writer

One of the categories we came up with was usage guides written by women. This category resulted from ideological as well as practical considerations. The ideological argument was that since women are underrepresented in terms of number as writers of usage guides, it wouldn’t be amiss to pay special attention to them. This led to a more practical consideration: because of the smaller number it shouldn’t be too difficult to identify and acquire all usage guides written by women.

So far we have identified 54 usage guides written by women, of which we have acquired 9 so far. Now, original editions of usage guides  published in the latter half of the 20th century are not that hard to come by, but earlier ones aren’t easy to find. This is where you come in. At present, we’re hoping to find the following titles:

Use and Abuse of English 1896 Rosaline Masson (Edinburgh: James Thin) — or the 1924 fourth edition

Desk-book of Errors in English 1909 Josephine Turck Baker (Evanston, IL: Correct English Publishing Co.) — or the 1920 revised edition

You don’t have to worry about copyright, the books are used for research purposes only. If you own or can get hold of one of the guides we’re looking for, we would like you to scan them and share the file(s) with us via Google Drive or some other method of file sharing. All our benefactors will be listed on this blog. However, if you wish to donate but remain anonymous, please include a note to that effect.

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About Robin Straaijer

I am a linguist and EAP trainer, working on English prescriptivism and Standard English. Lover of photography and comedy.
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