HUGE recommended

A first mention of the HUGE database, in the journal Copypediting: thanks to Lauren Nalls for telling us about it!

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French language watchdogs say ‘non’ to gender-neutral style

And another piece from the UK Guardian, here.

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Resistance to changes in grammar is futile, say researchers

A review from the UK Guardian yesterday: “Linguists say that random chance plays a bigger role than previously thought in the evolution of language – but also that ‘English is weird’”, available here.

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A which hunter at it again

I just proofread an article of mine which had been copy-edited, in the process of which all my whichs (and some whos) had been changed into thats! Copy-editors tend to be anonymous, but I bet this person was American. Another which-hunter caught!

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-lily adverbs: one last attitudes survey

To put the final (well, almost final) touches on my study of usage guides and usage problems, I decided to have one more survey, on the acceptability of –lily adverbs. These are words like cowardlily, ghastlilyheavenlily, livelily, lovelily, lowlily, manlily, mannerlily, scholarlily and statelily, which several usage guides claim should be used since all adverbs should be marked by –ly, even if the adjective concerned already ends in –ly.

Microsoft Word, as I saw in the chapter I'(re)writing, only accepts the form livelily. What do readers of this blog think, are these forms acceptable or not? Please let me have your opinions, and fill in the survey — the last one for my book, I promise!


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English Grammar Boot Camp

Anne Curzan (Fixing English: Prescriptivism and Language History, Cambridge University Press, 2014) has recently(?) launched an “English Grammar Boot Camp” with The Great Courses. This is “a thorough immersion in all of the key elements of English grammar and usage”, in twenty-four lectures, from “Why Do We Care about Grammar?” to “Trending Language”. This is not a MOOC but a paid-for course, either as DVD or Video Download. Might be interesting!

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Just out: English Historical Linguistics, with …

… a chapter on prescriptivism. True recognition of an important approach and an interesting perspective on the subject. Congratulations Laurel Brinton!

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