Describing Prescriptivism: Usage guides and usage problems in British and American English

1st Edition

Ingrid Tieken-Boon van Ostade

September 2, 2019 Forthcoming
Reference - 296 Pages - 8 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9780367207182 - CAT# K419037

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Describing Prescriptivism provides a topical and thought-provoking analysis of linguistic prescriptivism in British and American English, from a historical as well as present-day perspective. Focusing on usage guides and usage problems, the book takes a three-fold approach to present an in-depth analysis of the topic, featuring:

  • a detailed study of the advice provided in usage guides over the years;

  • an authoritative comparison of this advice with actual usage as recorded in British and American corpora, including the HUGE (Hype Usage Guide of English) database – developed specifically to enable this line of study – as well as more mainstream corpora such as COCA, COHA and the BNC;

  • a close analysis of the attitudes to particular usage problems among the general public, based on surveys distributed online through the "Bridging the Unbridgeable" research project’s blog.

With extensive case studies to illustrate and support claims throughout, this comprehensive study is key reading for students and researchers of prescriptivism, the history of English and sociolinguistics.

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