Tag Archives: usage guides

Usage guides… there’s no getting away from them!

Yesterday, I found this well-worn copy of Margaret Nicholson’s A Dictionary of American-English Usage (Signet 1958) in my local street library (see photo below) just around the corner of where I live. I realised that it has been just about … Continue reading

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First usage guides

Within this project, we’ve focused on English, and started our research on the history of the tradition from the first usage guide believed to have been published, Robert Baker’s Reflections on the English Language, from 1770. Inspired by this, I … Continue reading

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A new usage guide! Buy one, get one free

Harry Ritchie, the author of the amazing and important book English for the Natives (2013), has just published two new books, e-books this time. They’re called The Secret Passwords of Middle-Class Grammar and The Real Rules – A Quick Guide. … Continue reading

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Just out!

For all those interested in the relationship between usage, usage guides and linguistic norms, this book has just come out. With warmest thanks to the editors Luisella Caon, Marion Elenbaas and Janet Grijzenhout, as well as to all contributing authors: … Continue reading

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On the late Harry Blamires …

How sad to come across his obituary in Church Times: Harry Blamires (1916-2017), who we once referred to on this blog as our oldest living usage guide writer, died on 21 November last year. The obituary lists his many achievements, … Continue reading

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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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Continuing the usage game

On our blog, we often report on current developments in the usage debate, bits and pieces of our research findings and also new publications of usage guides. Being a true book addict, I would like to share two of the … Continue reading

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New in English Today: A Fuss about the Octopus

The March issue of English Today includes the latest feature article from our project in which I discuss the options English has to refer to more than one ‘octopus’ as well as a usage rhyme written on this specific topic. Four … Continue reading

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The first American usage guide

In the post today: my copy of Seth T. Hurd’s Grammatical Corrector, the first American usage guide, published in 1847, and found on ebay. It is in better condition than the ebay picture suggested: it has a green cover, and a … Continue reading

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An 18th-century Garner?

Within this project, we take Robert Baker’s Reflections on the English Language (1770) to be the first English usage guide. But was it? In the introduction to the Merriam Webster Dictionary of English Usage (1989: 8a) we are able to read … Continue reading

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