Category Archives: usage guide

Hen and hun in Dutch. Or: How to Make a Usage Problem Go Away

This is Amos van Baalen’s second blogpost for last semester’s MA course Non-Standard English: Modern Dutch technically does not have a case system anymore. Remnants of this system occur in many set expressions, such as te allen tijde “at all … Continue reading

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A centenary: The Elements of Style

Putting the final touches (I hope!) to my book on usage guides and usage problems,  I suddenly realised that William Strunk‘s famous Elements of Style is a hundred years old this year. Will anyone, publisher or critic or otherwise, pay attention to … Continue reading

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I come, I seen, I chased him up the street

And here is Amos van Baalen’s first blogpost. And if you are a native speaker of Australian or British English, do take the time to contribute to his research by filling in the survey below. It won’t take a lot … Continue reading

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Season’s’ greetings and some Christmas reading

The most frequent hit on our blog at this time of the year is to Carmen Ebner’s post on the question of where to place the apostrophe (if at all) in “Season’s greeetings”. Well, here is something different for all … 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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Pullum: “Strunk simply doesn’t bother to look”

For readers of this blog and those who have followed the debate between prescriptivists and descriptivists closely, it’s hardly surprising to hear that Geoffrey Pullum, Professor of General Linguistics at Edinburgh University, is not particularly fond of William Strunk’s The … 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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