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LINGUIST List 25.2400

Mon Jun 02 2014

Books: Fixing English: Curzan

Editor for this issue: Sara Couture <saralinguistlist.org>

Date: 01-May-2014
From: Joyce Reid <jreidcambridge.org>
Subject: Fixing English: Curzan
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Title: Fixing English
Subtitle: Prescriptivism and Language History
Publication Year: 2014
Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Book URL: http://www.cambridge.org/us/academic/subjects/languages-linguistics/history-english-language/fixing-english-prescriptivism-and-language-history?format=HB

Author: Anne Curzan

Hardback: ISBN: 9781107020757 Pages: Price: U.K. £ 55.00
Hardback: ISBN: 9781107020757 Pages: Price: U.S. $ 80.00


Over the past 300 years, attempts have been made to prescribe how we should and should not use the English language. The efforts have been institutionalized in places such as usage guides, dictionaries, and school curricula. Such authorities have aspired to 'fix' the language, sometimes by keeping English exactly where it is, but also by trying to improve the current state of the language. Anne Curzan demonstrates the important role prescriptivism plays in the history of the English language, as a sociolinguistic factor in language change and as a vital meta-discourse about language. Starting with a pioneering new definition of prescriptivism as a linguistic phenomenon, she highlights the significant role played by Microsoft's grammar checker, debates about 'real words', non-sexist language reform, and efforts to reappropriate stigmatized terms. Essential reading for anyone interested in the regulation of language, the book is a fascinating re-examination of how we tell language history.

Introduction: does prescriptivism fail?;
1. Prescriptivism's umbrella: standards, style, restoration, and political intervention;
2. Prescriptivism's lessons: scope and 'The history of English';
3. Checking grammar and grammar checkers;
4. Dictionaries and the idea of 'real words';
5. Non-sexist language reform and its effects;
6. Reappropriation and challenges to institutionalized prescriptivism;
7. Finding shared ground: public conversations about prescriptivism.

Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis
Historical Linguistics

Subject Language(s): English (eng)

Written In: English (eng)

See this book announcement on our website:

---------------------------------- Publishing Partner ----------------------------------
Cambridge University Press http://us.cambridge.org

----------------------------- Major Supporting Publishers -----------------------------
Akademie Verlag GmbH http://www.oldenbourg-verlag.de/akademie-verlag
Bloomsbury Linguistics (formerly Continuum Linguistics) http://www.bloomsbury.com
Brill http://www.brill.nl
Cambridge Scholars Publishing http://www.c-s-p.org
Cascadilla Press http://www.cascadilla.com/
Classiques Garnier http://www.classiques-garnier.com/
De Gruyter Mouton http://www.degruyter.com/
Edinburgh University Press http://www.euppublishing.com
Elsevier Ltd http://www.elsevier.com/
Equinox Publishing Ltd http://www.equinoxpub.com/
European Language Resources Association (ELRA) http://www.elra.info/
Georgetown University Press http://www.press.georgetown.edu/
John Benjamins http://www.benjamins.com/
Lincom GmbH http://www.lincom-shop.eu/
MIT Press http://mitpress.mit.edu/
Multilingual Matters http://www.multilingual-matters.com/
Narr Francke Attempto Verlag GmbH + Co. KG http://www.narr.de/
Oxford University Press http://www.oup.com/us
Palgrave Macmillan http://www.palgrave.com/
Peter Lang AG http://www.peterlang.com/
Rodopi http://www.rodopi.nl/
Routledge (Taylor and Francis) http://www.routledge.com/
Springer http://www.springer.com/
University of Toronto Press http://www.utpjournals.com/
Wiley-Blackwell http://www.wiley.com/

--------------------------- Other Supporting Publishers ---------------------------
Association of Editors of the Journal of Portuguese Linguistics http://www.fl.ul.pt/revistas/JPL/JPLweb.htm
International Pragmatics Assoc. http://ipra.ua.ac.be/
Linguistic Association of Finland http://www.ling.helsinki.fi/sky/
Morgan & Claypool Publishers http://www.morganclaypool.com/
Netherlands Graduate School of Linguistics / Landelijke (LOT) http://www.lotpublications.nl/
Seoul National University http://j-cs.org/index/index.php
SIL International Publications http://www.sil.org/resources/publications
Universitat Jaume I http://www.uji.es/CA/publ/
University of Nebraska Press http://www.nebraskapress.unl.edu/
Utrecht institute of Linguistics http://www-uilots.let.uu.nl/

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