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English Usage Guides – History, Advice, Attitudes - Oxford Scholarship Online
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English Usage Guides: History, Advice, Attitudes

Ingrid Tieken-Boon van Ostade


Usage guides, or language advice manuals, are being published in large numbers, both in Britain and the US. The first titles that usually spring to mind are Fowler’s Modern English Usage (1926) or Sir Ernest Gowers’s Complete Plain Words (1954). Yet as a phenomenon, they are much older than that: the first English usage guide was published in 1770, and the first American one in 1847. Today, new titles come out almost every year, while old works are revised and reissued. At the same time, usage advice can be readily found on the internet: Grammar Girl, for instance, is a good example of what is ... More

Keywords: usage guides, usage advice, English, grammar, style guide, online, attitudes, usage problems

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780198808206
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2017 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198808206.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Ingrid Tieken-Boon van Ostade, editor
Professor of English Sociohistorical Linguistics, Leiden University Centre for Linguistics

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