Tag Archives: oed

Who coined the term “flat adverb”?

Elsewhere in this blog I reported on the first quotation from the OED for the term “flat adverb”: 1871    J. Earle Philol. Eng. Tongue vii. 361   The Flat Adverb is simply a substantive or an adjective placed in an adverbial position. (This … Continue reading

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Burchfield a Jane Austen fan

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R.W. Burchfield (1923-2004) was not only the author of the third edition of Fowler’s Modern English Usage – which Wikipedia labels as a “controversial, substantially rewritten and less prescriptivist” version of the book: he was also responsible for the second Supplement of the … Continue reading

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Flat adverbs

“Flat Adverbs” are defined by the OED as follows: “Not distinguished by a characteristic ending, as an adverb which has the same form as an adjective or substantive, or a substantive used as an adjective” (OED, s.v. flat, adj., adv. … Continue reading

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Proscriptivism in the OED

Under the first sense for heterogenous, the OED writes: A less correct form of heterogeneous adj. (In mod. use prob. repr. the pronunc. /hɛtəˈrɒdʒɪnəs/ given by some speakers to heterogeneous: cf. homogenous adj. (homogeneous adj. ¶).) Labelling the word as … Continue reading

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Fowler into the OED

In 2009, the first edition of Fowler’s Modern English Usage (1926) was reprinted by Oxford University Press, as part of their World Classics Series. In the introduction, David Crystal assesses Fowler’s status as a writer of this popular usage guide, as well as the book … Continue reading

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Pocket Fowler

The pocket edition of Fowler’s Modern English Usage is available online. You can access it if you have access to the Oxford English Dictionary. On the OED homepage, click on Oxford Reference Online, then on English Language Reference, on Pocket Fowler’s Modern English Usage: … Continue reading

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