Author Archives: adrianstenton

About adrianstenton

Adrian Stenton is a PhD candidate at Leiden University Centre for Linguistics and is currently investigating number concord in the species noun phrase. Adrian is part of the project Bridging the Unbridgeable: linguists, prescriptivists and the general public, which is supervised by Prof Ingrid Tieken-Boon van Ostade.

British Library project discovers two new words – thanks to Guardian readers

It’s not every day you discover a new word, or at least a new meaning for an old word. But when the Guardian asked its readers to contribute their favourite dialect words, it discovered not one, but two. “Webs” and … Continue reading

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French language watchdogs say ‘non’ to gender-neutral style

And another piece from the UK Guardian, here.

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Resistance to changes in grammar is futile, say researchers

A review from the UK Guardian yesterday: “Linguists say that random chance plays a bigger role than previously thought in the evolution of language – but also that ‘English is weird’”, available here.

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English Grammar Boot Camp

Anne Curzan (Fixing English: Prescriptivism and Language History, Cambridge University Press, 2014) has recently(?) launched an “English Grammar Boot Camp” with The Great Courses. This is “a thorough immersion in all of the key elements of English grammar and usage”, … Continue reading

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We understood that to “decimate” meant to kill one in 10

This is a quotation from a new book, The Beast, by Alexander Starritt, due out on 7 September, and previewed in today’s Guardian by Ian Jack, about a fictionalised sub-editor on the Daily Mail. It might make entertaining reading!

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Another book on how American English is taking over …

This is what Profile Books have to say about Matthew Engel’s new book That’s The Way It Crumbles The American Conquest of the English Language Are we tired of hearing that fall is a season, sick of being offered fries … Continue reading

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The globalisation of American English

There’s a piece in today’s Guardian here: Do you want fries with that? Data shows Americanization of English is rising on the use of Google Ngram Viewer to document the spread of American English. It includes a link to the … Continue reading

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A missing word? Part II

The relevant entries from the OED are: I also had a look at Worcester’s dictionary, primarily to see if he had any citations.  I’m not sure about the date, as the first twenty pages are missing, but these are the … Continue reading

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A missing word?

I was copy-editing a paper for a language journal today, and came across this: “… children may or may not identify phonemes better audiovisually than auditory only.” The prescriptivist in me baulked at the combination of adverb and adjective, and … Continue reading

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Only 35?

Here’s a UK Guradina newspaper fluff piece for Harold Evans’ new book on writing dos and donts. He seems very confident!

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