Author Archives: Ingrid Tieken

Great to have a copy!

The HUGE database contains only a selection of usage guides. On the one hand, because there are so many of them, but on the other because it wasn’t always possible to lay our hands on a copy that could be … Continue reading

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There/their/they’re confusion: something of all times

In discussing new usage problems discussed on the internet, Hylke Vriesendorp recently noted that there/their/they’re spellings were among the five most commented upon features listed in a Facebook group survey he carried out. Reading an early 17th-century text for the … Continue reading

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Dialects vs. Standard English

And here is Emmy Stevens’s second blog post already! She also invites you to participate in her survey. Please do so: your input will be very useful for the paper she is writing for the course. When Huckleberry Finn “snuck” … Continue reading

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Singular they and women

Back and forth to Berlin last week, for the Wild Publics conference organised by Theresa Heyd and Britta Schneider. There were two papers on prescriptivism, my own (Codification – prescription – prescriptivism: The authority of the lay-person) and one by … Continue reading

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You say Ke-no-ah and I say Keen-wah

And here is Lizi Richards’s first blogpost (again, it isn’t as far as I know an issue in The Netherlands!):  Even in 2018, a strong argument can be made that the British general public are obsessed with accents. Lesley Milroy, … Continue reading

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On the front page no less

Most of the usage problems studied by Mittins et al. in the late 1960s (Attitudes to English Usage, 1970) have since increased in acceptability. This is what we tested by repeating their survey in the form of usage polls on this … Continue reading

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No complaint tradition in The Netherlands? (ctd.)

I’m teaching another MA course on prescriptivism this semester, this time with the general research question as to how much of what is in the English usage guides reflects non-standard language use. All students in the course are once again … Continue reading

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