Category Archives: usage guide

More usage guides

If the coincidence Robin Straaijer experienced last week was finding a usage guide ten years after he had been working on it, mine was to find a copy of a German usage guide, the German usage I’ve been told, just … Continue reading

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Usage guides and the complaint tradition

If you wish to attend this presentation, on Wednesday 27 April at 2 pm (CET), here is the zoomlink: https://uni-due.zoom.us/j/66210477258?pwd=R0ZOc1RNTXcvUkxuYUVsNXlCSWFiZz09. We hope to see many of you there. And if students need a certificate of attendance, the organisers will will … Continue reading

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Usage guides… there’s no getting away from them!

Yesterday, I found this well-worn copy of Margaret Nicholson’s A Dictionary of American-English Usage (Signet 1958) in my local street library (see photo below) just around the corner of where I live. I realised that it has been just about … Continue reading

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A new usage guide! Buy one, get one free

Harry Ritchie, the author of the amazing and important book English for the Natives (2013), has just published two new books, e-books this time. They’re called The Secret Passwords of Middle-Class Grammar and The Real Rules – A Quick Guide. … Continue reading

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Geoffrey Nunberg, Robert Lowth and punctuation theory

Working on the punctuation practice of 18th-century letter writers, I was intrigued by the title of Geoffrey Nunberg‘s book, The Linguistics of Punctuation (1990). The book didn’t have what I was looking for, was in fact more about developing a … Continue reading

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On their way home

Many thanks for letting them stay with us, Kate! It was good to be able to hold them (and to see how small some of them are!).

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Describing Prescriptivism

Soon to appear (expected publication date: some time in September):  

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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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