Author Archives: Ingrid Tieken

Whether or not?

My colleague Ton van der Wouden would like to know if whether or not  is a usage problem – or not. He noticed an enormous increase in usage (Google Books) over the last eighty years or so. As far as I … Continue reading

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Seeing usage problems around every corner!

Here is Bram Steijn‘s second blog post for the MA course Testing Prescriptivism:  I was sitting in the train, checking my Facebook messages, when I stumbled upon the following mistake in someone’s profile text: “living life at full”. The person … Continue reading

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And the winner is …

This morning, I’ve been going through the HUGE database to find out which of the 123 usage problems was treated most by the usage guides (77 in all). Does anyone want to make a guess?    

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We’re/were: huh?

Recently, one of my English Facebook friends wrote that she and her family had just survived a very cold May Bank Holiday weekend camping with snow on the hills. “We’re you in a caravan?” one of her friends asked. We’re … Continue reading

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Pinker’s Sense of Style translated into Dutch

Yesterday, I accidentally came across the translation into Dutch of Pinker’s The Sense of Style in a bookshop here in The Hague. Amazing, an English style-cum-usage guide translated into Dutch. A much earlier similar attempt, the translation of Lynne Truss’s Eats Shoots … Continue reading

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9 December: Save The Date!

On 9 December 2016, the Bridging the Unbridgeable project will organise a usage guides symposium at the Leiden University Centre for Linguistics. Speakers will include Rebecca Gowers (author of the revised edition of Plain Words and of the recently published Horrible Words), … Continue reading

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Attitudes in prescriptivism: a new word for “stickler”?

Lonneke van Leest-Kootkar’s first blogpost is about sticklers and the rest of the prescriptive bunch: Sticklers, pedants, pundits and purists: these are only a couple of terms to describe those prescriptivists who have the tendency to get worked up about … Continue reading

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