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 a book based on the website as well, and it first came out in 2003, with a third edition published ten years later. Another major achievement – three editions in ten years time. Paul tells me the book has been selling well.
Paul also produces regular podcasts on Common Errors (not so long ago, I was even interviewed on our project for one of them: Episode 8 of the series), but there are two more recent ones about the history of the Common Errors website, Episode 15 and Episode 16. We hope you will enjoy listening to them, and that you will join us in our warmest congratulations of this wonderful anniversary!
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 describes her as in the image below, and the book appears to have been quite popular. The new edition dates from 2004.
For English Today readers, and indeed anybody else who may have missed it last time, here is my trial survey, on number concord in the species noun phrase, which I have posted on Qualtrics. You will find the survey HERE. It’s a short survey, starting with an example from Mittins et al.’s (1970) Attitudes to English Usage, just to set a bench-mark. This is followed by twelve examples, all taken from my corpus, and differing from Mittins et al. in that they are all presented in context, typically including the sentence before and the sentence following. Apart from teasing out your attitudes to number concord, the survey also gives you the opportunity to comment at length. I am hoping to use your responses to refine the survey for the authors of my corpus.
If you would like more details on the survey, please go to BtU HERE .
Many thanks! Adrian Stenton, PhD candidate at the Leiden University Centre for Linguistics.
For readers of The Times or anyone who didn’t happen to be present: yes this was us, and thank you, Oliver Kamm for referring to the symposium! The column is a good read, and offers excellent advice: it is alright to split infinitives!
(Thanks, Marilyn, for the reference.)
On behalf of all the members of the Bridging the Unbridgeable project: our very best wishes for Christmas and the New Year, hoping for continuing very useful input from you all!
At last week’s symposium. Linda Pilliere announced a call for papers for the international peer-reviewed electronic journal E-rea that might be of interest to readers of this blog, so I’m passing it on. More information here.
Many thanks to all the speakers for their wonderful presentations as well as to the participants for the discussions afterwards. Read more on Twitter: #afterhuge!