Tag Archives: usage

No hard language feelings?

The use of English, or rather its misuse, has often caused the one or the other to throw up his or her (or their?) hands in horror. Last month I attended the English Grammar Day at the British Library in … Continue reading

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Jeremy Clarkson on car journalists and “generic he”

Jeremy Clarkson, whom many of us might know from the British television show TopGear, in his column of October 2013 worries about things other than cars. Right. What could that be? you might think. Well, from the outside, most of … Continue reading

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Have you ever heard anybody say hain’t?  Have you seen it written down somewhere for have not or has not? Until this morning I was totally unfamiliar with the expression. To be honest, I  only knew of the existence of … Continue reading

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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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Punctuation. In Political. Contexts.

There have been many interesting articles about language use related to the 2012 presidential election in the U.S. Some of my favorites include this recent one on the ‘mass-nounification of vote’ by Ben Zimmer and this one on the use … Continue reading

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A healthy or healthful debate

Autumn has arrived and the battle against catching colds has officially begun. The recent weather with its cold winds and heavy rain showers makes it even more difficult to fight off colds. Vitamins and staying dry seem to be the … 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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And nor – and neither?

He told me things you wouldn’t be able to get out of him in a million years, and nor would these priests, confession or no confession (P.D. James, Death in Holy Orders, 2001, Penguin [2002], 472) The use of and … Continue reading

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Raising critical language awareness

This August, we will be bridging the unbridgeable at the 17th International Conference on English Historical Linguistics in Zürich, Switzerland (click image to conference website). We will convene an informal meeting to discuss the public discourse on usage & normativism … Continue reading

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Real-time global English

This gallery contains 4 photos.

A little while ago we received an e-mail from the Collins Language Team with the request to review the beta version of their new free online dictionary. Although this is clearly part of a strategy of buzz marketing, I am … Continue reading

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