Tag Archives: prescriptivism

Beaumont’s Better English Campaign

In The English Journal of November 1927, George Norvell reported that the teachers of Beaumont Senior High School were so tired of their students’ nonchalant disregard for rules of correct English which they had learned “dozens and perhaps hundreds of … Continue reading

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“The Alphabet of Errors”

Last week, I was fervently combing the earliest volumes of The English Journal, hoping to track down some articles about usage guides and problems for the database. After a while, just when I had figured that Volume 10, Issue 8 … Continue reading

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MA course on prescriptivism at Leiden

Next academic year, Ingrid Tieken-Boon van Ostade is offering an MA course on prescriptivism at the University of Leiden. The course, which will be called “Testing Prescriptivism”, is part of the MA track English Language and Linguistics, but is open … Continue reading

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Brief account of the evolution of Spanish prescriptivism

In the 13th century the process of standardization of the Castilian language started when Alphonse Xth, the Wise (1252-1284), ) acknowledged it as the official language. Likewise, Antonio de Nebrija wrote the 1st Spanish grammar in 1492 wherewith one of … Continue reading

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Prescriptivism in literary fiction

Is prescriptivism a topic among the general public, one of the target groups of our research? I would say: yes. For reading David Lodge‘s Deaf Sentence (Penguin 2008), I came across this:  … he [son-in-law] thinks you must be silently criticising his English all … Continue reading

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Speaking correctly and French

This blog is primarily concerned with correctness and attitudes to usage in English, but English is not the only language in which correctness in language is an issue – has been an issue for centuries: French is well-known for having … Continue reading

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Settling the split infinitive differences

Letters to the editor (LTE) sections in historical newspaper databases are rich sources for investigating the language pedants’ pet peeves.  The split infinitive seems to be among the prominent causes for their perpetual discussions. A 1904 article in the Washington … 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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English Historical Linguistics in Zürich

This gallery contains 3 photos.

Last week, the 17th International Conference on English Historical Linguistics was held at Zürich University in Switzerland. On Monday afternoon, the conference was opened with a word of welcome by the president of the university Andreas Fischer, who is also an English historical … Continue reading

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New publications on prescriptivism

This morning, I found the following email from Carol Percy in my mailbox This email is being sent to the addresses of people who presented and/or attended and/or in some way supported the 2009 conference on Prescriptivism & Patriotism. I … Continue reading

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