Category Archives: usage guide

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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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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