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A new “feature” on this blog by Paul Nance

Paul Nance is a regular contributor to this blog. This time, he has written a great piece on metalinguistic comments in detective novels by Rex Stout (1886-1975). Enjoy reading it!

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“Not Grammar, Diction”

by Paul Nance Reading a post written a few months ago on metalinguistic comments in John le Carré novels reminded me of the references to language usage in the works of Rex Stout. The novels and novellas feature detective Nero … Continue reading

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Live and Learn – our very own copy

Truly delightful to see that someone responded to my call in December last year to donate any spare usage guides to our project: many thanks indeed, Paul Nance for this wonderful gift, a copy of Live and Learn (anon., 35th … Continue reading

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500 Mistakes and Live and Learn

I’ve always been wondering about the relationship between Five Hundred Mistakes of Daily Occurrence (1856) and Live and Learn: A Guide for All, who Wish to Speak and Write Correctly (1856?). Both are usage guides, and they seem to share the … Continue reading

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Another Source for Burgess’s Five Hundred Mistakes of Daily Occurrence

by Paul Nance In an article published in 2015, Ingrid Tieken-Boon van Ostade has suggested that while the anonymous editor of Five Hundred Mistakes of Daily Occurrence in Speaking, Pronouncing and Writing, Corrected (New York: Daniel Burgess & Co., 1856) … Continue reading

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9 December – Life after HUGE? Registration now closed

Registration for the symposium is now closed. Should you wish to attend the symposium after all, please leave a comment, and we will see what we can do. Below, you will find the preliminary programme for the symposium Life after HUGE? … Continue reading

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A matter of etiquette as well

If you thought that usage problems only occur in usage guides, you’re in for a big surprise: they are also discussed in a different genre altogether – etiquette books. This discovery was made by Paul Nance, one of the readers of … Continue reading

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Prescriptivism in etiquette books

by Paul Nance While language usage guides are our best source of information about the history of language prescriptivism, another source is usage guides of a different sort: guides to etiquette. By placing speech in the context of manners and … Continue reading

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The term “usage guide”

Within the Bridging the Unbridgeable project we use the term “usage guide” to describe usage handbooks of manuals like Fowler’s Modern English Usage and many others, as included in our HUGE database. But where does the term come from? I checked … Continue reading

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Donations of usage guides

And this week, Maaike de Rijk presented us with a copy of Deskbook of Correct English: A Dictionary of Spelling, Punctuation, Grammar and Usage, by West and Kimber (1957). Thanks for this wonderful gift, Maaike! Today, we received Paul Nance’s generous … Continue reading

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