Author Archives: Carmen Ebner

About Carmen Ebner

Carmen Ebner is a sociolinguist who is currently working at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL). In September 2017, she has obtained her PhD in Linguistics from Leiden University Centre for Linguistics (LUCL) in the Netherlands, where she worked on a project on language attitudes and prescriptivism in British English. Carmen's research interests include all things sociolinguistics. In particular, she is interested in linguistic discrimination, attitude elicitation techniques, language variation and change, and historical sociolinguistics.

Pullum: “Strunk simply doesn’t bother to look”

For readers of this blog and those who have followed the debate between prescriptivists and descriptivists closely, it’s hardly surprising to hear that Geoffrey Pullum, Professor of General Linguistics at Edinburgh University, is not particularly fond of William Strunk’s The … Continue reading

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The Comma Queen is back

Mary Norris, copy-editor and author of the usage guide Between you & me: Confessions of a Comma Queen, shares her knowledge on language use in a series of videos on The New Yorker.   Now in season two, the Comma Queen … Continue reading

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Introvert pedants?

Robin Queen and Julie Boland, both from the University of Michigan, recently conducted a study on attitudes towards spelling variation, which has now been picked up by The Guardian. What they call “typos” and “grammos” are errors everyone has come across when using the internet … Continue reading

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Continuing the usage game

On our blog, we often report on current developments in the usage debate, bits and pieces of our research findings and also new publications of usage guides. Being a true book addict, I would like to share two of the … Continue reading

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Blaming the media?

As part of our interactive feature series in English Today, the latest and ninth article has been published today in which I discuss attitudes towards the role of the media in language variation and change. In my online questionnaire, I asked informants … Continue reading

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Key player media?

Since I am particularly interested in the media’s role in the later stages of the standardisation process of English, I would like to invite you to participate in a brief survey which also serves as a starting point for a … Continue reading

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He said, she said or he admitted, she boasted?

What is wrong with the word said? Personally, I do have nothing against this very useful verb. But as it turns out, some teachers in the US are actively encouraging their students to not make use of it. Gabriel Roth … Continue reading

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