Category Archives: usage guide

Congratulations, Paul Brians!

This year, it has been twenty years since Paul Brians first published his website Common Errors in English Usage online. The late 1990s were early days for internet usage advice, so congratulations, Paul! It seemed a good idea to publish … Continue reading

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Angela Burt

I’m trying to get in touch with Angela Burt: perhaps someone can help. She is the author of The A to Z of Correct English (2000), but the publisher, How To Books, no longer seems to exist. The blurb of the book … Continue reading

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500 Mistakes and Live and Learn

I’ve always been wondering about the relationship between Five Hundred Mistakes of Daily Occurrence (1856) and Live and Learn: A Guide for All, who Wish to Speak and Write Correctly (1856?). Both are usage guides, and they seem to share the … Continue reading

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Dahlesque got in, so how about Fowleresque?

Two weeks ago, NRC-Handelsblad published an article on the memorable fact that among their new entries, the Oxford English Dictionary adopted words made up by Roald Dahl (1916-1990). The OED as a news item in a Dutch quality newspaper! The occasion appears … Continue reading

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500 Mistakes of Daily Occurrence online

Yesterday, completely by chance, I came across a digitised version of the anonymous usage guide (also included in the HUGE database) called 500 Mistakes of Daily Occrrence (1856). The site operates wonderfully, and the document is fully searchable (but still attributed … Continue reading

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“Use the active voice” – full stop

Here is one example of the effect which following up on Strunk and White’s linguistic advice may have (see last week’s blog post on this): He spent a considerable portion of 1802 in Nellore collecting manuscripts, interviewing local Brahmins whom … Continue reading

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“Basically … rather good”

Just decided to check up on the reception of Simon Heffer’s new (well, two years old by now) usage guide called Simply English, and found that Ben East, in The Guardian, described it as “basically … rather good”.  Interesting, in view … Continue reading

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