For the past 150 years, the ain’t forecast has been mostly heavy showers with some sunny patches – much like a European summer – but how do things look now? Here is a brief run-down of the prescriptivists-family reaction to … Continue reading
Just out, The Story of Ain’t by David Skinner, editor of Humanities magazine, is not about the verb form in the title but about “the controversy over Webster’s Third” when it was published “with much fanfare in 1961″. The book sets out to explain why … Continue reading
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One of my most delightful discoveries when I was looking for first quotations from eighteenth-century authors in the OED was that Fanny Burney was cited as the first user of ain’t. The source was Evelina, her first novel published in … Continue reading
One of the readers of this blog drew our attention to the fact that there is a list of disputed usages in Wikipedia. The list includes ain’t, less for fewer, like for as, which were all dealt with elsewhere in this … Continue reading
This week’s New York Times Sunday Book Review includes an essay by Geoffrey Nunberg, a linguist from the University of California (Berkeley), called “When a dictionary could outrage“. Nunberg compares the recent decision of the Oxford English Dictionary to adopt … Continue reading