Author Archives: Ingrid Tieken

The pedant in him …

… is sparked off by spotting an exclamation mark where a question would normally be expected. Or actually, by the vacuousness of the contents of the welcoming message found when booking into his hotel room. All this is part of … Continue reading

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The project continues …

The Bridging the Unbridgeable project officially ended nearly five years ago, but almost all of us are presenting a paper at the next Prescriptivism Conference, held online (no fee!) at the University of Vigo from 23 – 25 September 2021. … Continue reading

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Is whilst superseding while? But is it?

Reading the work of my younger academic colleagues, I get the feeling that whilst is making a comeback. Why would that be the case? Strangely though, I don’t see this perceived increased frequency reflected in usage as we can access … Continue reading

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Owners of a copy of Lowth’s grammar (1762)

I expect readers of this blog will also be interested in the grammar by Robert Lowth (1762 and many later editions). And if so, does any of you possess an original copy, from whatever date? If you do, please help … Continue reading

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Twitter hashtag #usanall

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Language and social class?

Yesterday, the Guardian posted a call asking readers to express their personal thoughts on what the terms “working class” and “middle class” actually mean. These are terms well-known from sociolinguistics, so I’ll be curious to so how readers will respond. … Continue reading

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The Grolier exhibition opening now available online

Two weeks ago, I reported on the opening of Bryan Garner’s exhibition Taming the Tongue at the Grolier Club in New York. The video of the event is now available online. So if you wish to know more about this … Continue reading

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That if a usage problem in English?

Two of my colleagues at the Leiden University Centre for Linguistics are working on the collocation of dat “that” and als “if” in sentences like Hij dacht dat als hij drukte, het luikje open zou gaan (“He thought that if he pushed, … Continue reading

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Just out!

For all those interested in the relationship between usage, usage guides and linguistic norms, this book has just come out. With warmest thanks to the editors Luisella Caon, Marion Elenbaas and Janet Grijzenhout, as well as to all contributing authors: … Continue reading

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Exhibition opens today: Bryan Garner’s “Taming the Tongue”

We all know Bryan Garner as the author of Garner’s Modern American (now English) Usage (4th ed. 2016), but not everyone may be aware of the fact that he is also a collector of 18th and 19th-century books, grammars as … Continue reading

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