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.

What’s the fuss about the controversial SPaG test?

The 2016 version of the Key Stage 2 Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar test, also known as SPaG test, has made the headlines in the UK again. Michael Rosen has often voiced his concerns about the test publically and did so again … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

And then there were 4

After Grammar Girl’s Top 10 Grammar Myths in 2010 and the Guardian’s 10 grammar rules you can forget three years later, linguist and author Arika Okrent joins the usage problem shortlisting club with her 4 Fake Grammar Rules You Don’t … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Linguistic Girl Power

We have dealt with numerous language issues such as the oddly misplaced apostrophe, the dangling participle and the new “like” on our blog, but what interests me in particular are the social factors that may or may not pull the strings behind the scene. … Continue reading

Posted in usage features | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Gove on grammar, again

The former Education Secretary Michael Gove, who has been appointed Lord Chancellor and Secretary of Justice, has been criticised for ‘patronising’ civil servants with his take on grammar. As an English graduate from Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University, Gove is known not … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

What kind of grammar nerd are you?

Today is National Grammar Day in the US and to celebrate this joyful occasion, Grammarly, a company providing a spell checker and grammar checker with the same title, has published a quiz: What kind of grammar nerd are you? It contains questions on … Continue reading

Posted in news, usage features | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

David vs Goliath: Oliver Kamm’s take on English usage

I have to admit that reading usage guides can get somewhat boring. Their authors, most of them prescriptivists and literally old-school, frequently use a similar set of usage problems discussing them in a similar manner and expressing similar attitudes. If … Continue reading

Posted in news, usage guide | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Fix Your Grammar

If you are in a grammar or usage dilemma and looking for a clarification, you can find a huge number of useful and informative websites on grammar and usage advice online. Sometimes you come across advice presented in a somewhat … Continue reading

Posted in cartoons, usage features | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment