Tag Archives: Simon Heffer

“Basically … rather good”

Just decided to check up on the reception of Simon Heffer’s new (well, two years old by now) usage guide called Simply English, and found that Ben East, in The Guardian, described it as “basically … rather good”.  Interesting, in view … Continue reading

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Taggart vs. Pinker: and the winner is …

I’d really like to be able to find out how well “our” usage guides, those in the HUGE database that is, have been selling over the years. This is confidential information, I was recently told by the firm handling the estate of … Continue reading

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Thumbs up for IKEA!

One of Simon Heffer‘s pet hates is the use of singular they: “Being a pedant,” he writes, “I regard [its use] unacceptable” (2010:110). Unacceptable or not, singular they, as Mittins et al. point out in Attitudes to English Usage (1970!), has been … Continue reading

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Onto doesn’t exist?

Last week, Ingrid Tieken-Boon van Ostade published a post on Simon Heffer’s discussion of into on this blog. In his discussion of into in Strictly English, Heffer mentions a closely related usage item, the use of on to versus onto, of which … Continue reading

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Into or in to, really?

As I wrote earlier on this blog, I’m reading Heffer’s Strictly English (2010). In chapter 4, called Bad Grammar, he discusses the difference between into and in to. I never knew there was such a distinction in English! Is there … Continue reading

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On Heffer’s Strictly English

For the book I’m writing on the usage guide as a genre I’m reading several usage guides. Now it is Simon Heffer’s turn. Strictly English, first published in 2010, I find, is a disturbing book (and I have only got through … Continue reading

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