Blog Archives

Guest lecture by Anya Luscombe: 10 April 2013

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On 10 April, Dr. Anya Luscombe from University College Roosevelt (Middelburg, The Netherlands), will give a guest lecture at the University of Leiden Centre for Linguistics. The lecture will be from: 1.15 to 3 pm, and will take place in … Continue reading

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Prescription Conference: June 2013

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As of now, the opportunity to submit abstracts for the conference has passed. We have received a large number of abstract on a wide variety of languages and topics. We will notify those who submitted their abstracts before the end … Continue reading

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A Database of English Usage Guides & Usage Problems

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The project Bridging the Unbridgeable’s Monthly Lunch Lecture is very proud to present: A Database of English Usage Guides & Usage Problems Since historical (socio-) linguists of the English language have begun to study the topic of usage, there has been … Continue reading

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English Historical Linguistics in Zürich

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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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Ain’t, Fanny Burney and the OED

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One of my most delightful discoveries when I was looking for first quotations from eighteenth-century authors in the OED was that Fanny Burney was cited as the first user of ain’t. The source was Evelina, her first novel published in … Continue reading

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7th Usage Poll

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High time for a new usage poll:  items 31 – 35 from Mittins et al. (1970). Let us have your votes please! And should this poll really get you into the mood for more, there are six more polls to … Continue reading

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Attitudes survey

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For a paper I’m writing in the context of the Bridging the Unbridgeable project I’m doing a survey into attitudes to particular usage problems. For this pilot study, I’m collecting texts in which people express their opinions to such usage … Continue reading

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MA course on Prescriptivism at the University of Leiden

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Next academic year, second semester, Ingrid Tieken will teach an MA course called “Prescription and Prescriptivism”. More details will be announced on the Leiden University website soon. Course description: Prescription and prescriptivism are perceived, particularly by linguists, as rather negative … Continue reading

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Berk or wanker?

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Kingsley Amis distinguishes two types of people in his amusing usage guide The King’s English based on their attitudes and usage: berks & wankers. These terms he quite obviously uses in absolutely nothing else but their most strictly technical sense as … Continue reading

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The greengrocer’s apostrophe in Dutch

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Reading Hoffman’s Honger (1990) by Leon de Winter, a Dutch writer (b. 1954) who divides his time between living in The Netherlands and Los Angeles, I was struck by the apostrophe in the title of this novel. Dutch usage of the apostrophe … Continue reading

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