Category Archives: MA Leiden

Literally and figuratively

The use of literally has been a frequent topic on this blog. Here is another contribution, from my MA student Iméne Walles, this time on Dutch. The opposite of literally is figuratively. Of a sentence one could say ‘I meant … Continue reading

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Sticking up for the “sticklers”

Ina Huttenga is the next student from the MA course Testing Prescriptivism to present her first blog post: What I have here in my bookcase is The Wadsworth Handbook, a manual for students about writing. I use it mainly for citing … Continue reading

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Prescriptivism in the classroom

Boudewijn Steenhof, another student in my Testing Prescriptivism course, is a teacher, and combines his two interests in the post below. From my perspective, the course Testing Prescriptivism I’m following this semester has an extra layer. Being a teacher, it’s … Continue reading

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Smaug, the Stupendous

This semester, I teach an MA course called Testing Prescriptivism. Part of the requirements for the course, as for earlier courses I taught on the subject, is that students write two blogposts each. Here is the first, by Bram Steijn: … Continue reading

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The New Usage Guide … Television!

All the students in my MA course Testing Prescriptivism had to write two blogposts. So here is Jasper Spierenburg’s second one: With statistics showing that the average American watches over five hours of television a day, it is hard for … Continue reading

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When Literally means Literally…

Jasper Spierenburg is another of my MA students working on prescriptivism. Here is his first blogpost: Literally is an adverb that leaves a lot of listeners in an absolute state of disbelief. Paralyzed and shell-shocked they try to recover from … Continue reading

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Hey, you guys!

Below follows Cristina Cumpanasoiu’s second blogpost: Having originated in the U.S., the earliest instance of the noun guy in the sense of “man, fellow” according to the Oxford English Dictionary dates back to 1847 when Lord Chief Baron in Swell’s Night Guide said “I … Continue reading

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Parasitic plants and buttons: on language imagery

Marten van der Meulen‘s second blog post is about imagery and usage. Writing a usage guide is hard work, not in the least because the subject matter can be dry like a desert. Who but the most hardened language pundits will … Continue reading

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Beware, the World Cup is coming

Yes, there is futebol even on this blog! Read Jan van den Berg‘s second post, and let us have your comments, for all languages! Today, 12 June 2014 – the start of the World Cup. An exciting time for many. … Continue reading

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Another Thin’ Coming

Cassandra Nijon‘s second (well, really her first) blog post follows below. Many so-called “old chestnuts” boast a long history of appearance in usage guides, but it seems the most prestigious source that managed to muster some attention for the contentious expression … Continue reading

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