Tag Archives: attitudes to usage

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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What are your thoughts on the Microsoft grammar and style checker?

In the past two years, we’ve been publishing a series of interactive features in the journal English Today as a way to engage more readers in issues of interest to our research project. (Past features can also be found on … Continue reading

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Fresh from the English Today press: The dangling participle – a language myth?

The December issue of  English Today contains the latest feature article from our project in which I am discussing the acceptability of the dangling participle. Here are some of the main points addressed in the article The dangling participle – a language myth?: … Continue reading

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Something must have went on

The first time I read about have went as a usage problem was in the context of what 18th century prescriptivists wrote about it: Robert Lowth and Noah Webster, two 18th (and, in the case of Webster, 19th) century grammarians, both … Continue reading

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David Crystal and the history of English spelling, or how the Internet is killing off silent letters

The Hay Festival of Literature and Arts, which is held annually in Wales, was a prolific place this year for discussions about language use. Professor David Crystal gave a wonderfully engaging talk at the event, presenting his latest book Spell … Continue reading

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April is Bibliotastic

Spring and libraries: what do these things have in common? Besides being beautiful and making life more enjoyable, spring and libraries also share April. This month is National School Library Month in the U.S. Today also kicks off National Library … Continue reading

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Lexicon Valley: A Most Delightful Dale

For many months now, I’ve been intending to write an epic review of one of my favorite podcasts: Lexicon Valley presented by Slate. Well, this weekend I invoked the muses – otherwise known as Lexicon Valley hosts Mike Vuolo and … Continue reading

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Punctuation. In Political. Contexts.

There have been many interesting articles about language use related to the 2012 presidential election in the U.S. Some of my favorites include this recent one on the ‘mass-nounification of vote’ by Ben Zimmer and this one on the use … Continue reading

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Creativity and/or Prescriptivism

In a cult sketch on language, Stephen Fry compares the inexhaustible creative potential of language to that of music. The structure of language comprises a limited set of parts, just as a piano keyboard has a limited set of keys. … Continue reading

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Attitudes survey

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For a paper I’m writing in the context of the Bridging the Unbridgeable project I’m doing a survey into attitudes to particular usage problems. For this pilot study, I’m collecting texts in which people express their opinions to such usage … Continue reading

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