Tag Archives: fowler

Who was Sir Ernest Gowers?

While browsing in one of the many second hand bookshops in Scotland, I came across a familiar name: Sir Ernest Gowers. Gowers, known for his revision of H.W. Fowler’s Modern English Usage, also published other reference works such as the … Continue reading

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The ain’t forecast:

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

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HUGE database

The creation of a database of English usage guides and usage problems: the Hyper Usage Guide of English, or HUGE-database, is one of the sub-projects within Bridging the Unbridgeable. It is the first database to combine more than two hundred years of usage advice … Continue reading

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Focussing? Focusing?

A while ago, I used to get phone calls from colleagues from all over the university with questions like how to write focussing, with single or double s. As a member of the English department I was expected to know these … Continue reading

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Publication history of Fowler

I’m working on a publication history of Fowler’s Modern English Usage, along the lines of R.C. Alston’s Bibliography of the English Language from the Invention of Printing to 1800. For this, I need to have information on the publication of reprints … Continue reading

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Fun with Codification

During the last months, I’ve been assisting in compiling the Bridging the Unbridgeable project’s database of usage guides and usage problems – which will be launched at a lunch lecture this Friday. This has been a wonderful and interesting experience … Continue reading

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Cartoons

Thanks to Paul Bennett for this one: And Dennis Baron drew an e-card for Henry Fowler on his 150th birthday in the Web of Language.

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Toward or towards?

If you are not a native speaker English, like myself, these are difficult issues. According to Burchfield’s third edition of Fowler’s Modern English Usage (1996), the one is characteristic of American English and the other of British English. (Fowler himself … Continue reading

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