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Words in Time and Place: Exploring Language Through the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary

By David Crystal

Offers a unique view of the English language and its development, and includes witty commentary and anecdotes along the way.


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The Indo-European Controversy: Facts and Fallacies in Historical Linguistics

By Asya Pereltsvaig and Martin W. Lewis

This book "asserts that the origin and spread of languages must be examined primarily through the time-tested techniques of linguistic analysis, rather than those of evolutionary biology" and "defends traditional practices in historical linguistics while remaining open to new techniques, including computational methods" and "will appeal to readers interested in world history and world geography."


Academic Paper


Title: The grocer's apostrophe: popular prescriptivism in the 21st century
Author: Joan C. Beal
Institution: University of Sheffield
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: '“Some shops use an apostrophe, wrongly, to indicate an plural (‘pea's’), but will generally omit the apostrophe when one is actually required (‘new seasons asparagus’), a phenomenon sometimes referred to as the greengrocer's (or grocer's) apostrophe. Try to avoid this.” (Marsh & Hodsdon (eds), 2008: 5)

In this article, I shall examine a range of evidence from printed and web-based sources to gauge the extent of interest in punctuation, and the kinds of discourse employed in discussion of these matters. I shall also compare this with the comparative lack of attention paid to punctuation by 18th-century ‘prescriptivists’. I shall also consider why prescriptivism has returned with such a vengeance in the 21st century, and why punctuation is a focus of attention.

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN English Today Vol. 26, Issue 2, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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