A little over a month ago, I posted a survey on this blog, asking you which genres you think usage guides are most closely related to: dictionaries, spelling/punctuation guides, descriptive grammars, popular writing on language, handbooks on writing or style guides. It appears that of all of you who responded to this poll, the majority felt that usage guides were most like style guides. In addition, a fair number felt they were most like handbooks on writing. The full results of the poll are here.
You will remember that I did not explain what I think usage guides are, and that I only provided the terms of these genres without giving a description of them, which left this open to your own interpretation. This was intentional, as I don’t want to influence your opinions.
To get a clearer picture of your ideas of what defines usage guides, I have planned a short series of polls, all very short. The following looks at another aspect of what makes a usage guide; it is also from the perspective of their content. Please take the poll and tell me what you think usage guides should primarily deal with.