Author Archives: Ingrid Tieken

Dutch letters to the editor

In my experience, letters to the editor are not a frequent phenomenon in Dutch newspapers, at least not when they deal with language, and in any case not in the daily newspaper I read, NRC Handelsblad.  A while ago I … Continue reading

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Another Americanism?

In her book Horrible Words: A Guide to the Misuse of English (2016), Rebecca Gowers uses the word gripers in preference to sticklers (a word I myself always associate with Lynne Truss’s  famous Eats Shoots and Leaves), and in her paper at our Life after HUGE? symposium … Continue reading

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“But this is what I was taught in school!”

This is not the kind of comment you’d expect to hear from British informants when asked about the acceptability of particular disputed usage items, given the lack of formal grammar teaching in UK schools since the 1960s and 70s. It … Continue reading

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Discourse marker like and the joys of serendipity

Discourse marker like is finding its way into usage guides, as Viktorija Kostadinova shows in her work. None of the usage guides in the HUGE database, all published before 2010, has an entry on like.  But some writers do discuss it, even … Continue reading

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More than th-fronting

I keep on looking for instances of prescriptivism or metalinguistic comments on prescriptive issues in English literature. My call for examples in English Today recently did not produce any more examples unfortunately. The solution? Keep on reading, and even rereading. … Continue reading

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Pedant – to pedant

Can pedant be a verb? So it seems. Read more about pedants and pedantry in today’s Guardian online edition. With many thanks to Joan Beal for the link. One question to our readers though: does anyone object to nouns being turned … Continue reading

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Just out (surprise)

Today, we found out that our article “Prescriptive attitudes to English” is published, that it has been out for two months already. Thanks, Carmen, for tweeting about it, or I wouldn’t have known. Still, I’m really pleased, and expect Carmen … Continue reading

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