Points of View: Aspects of Present-day English

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Oxford University Press, 1992 - 150 pages
This is a fascinating collection of essays and reflections on language by Robert Burchfield, a leading authority on English usage and etymology, and editor of the Supplement to the First Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. Points of View begins with two original and entertaining reflections, the first entitled "The Fowler Brothers and the Tradition of Usage Handbooks," the second "An Outline of Euphemisms in English." The selection of shorter pieces which follows--drawn from Burchfield's popular Sunday Times of London column, "Words and Meanings"--concerns the English language as it is used throughout the world. These cover a wide variety of topics, ranging from the language of newspaper recruitment advertising and Valentine's Day messages to the modern use (and misuse) of apostrophes and hyphens. The book concludes with a series of engaging thoughts on individual words--often the most simple--about which there is continuing debate in modern English. Whether focusing on such contentious issues as "between you and me" versus "between you and I," or discussing the twenty-nine meanings of the verb "to want," Burchfield proves himself to be a particularly keen arbiter of English usage and a perceptive commentator on the state of our language today.

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The Fowler Brothers and the Tradition of Usage Handbooks I
An Outline History of Euphemisms in English

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About the author (1992)

About the Author:
Robert Burchfield was the editor of the final volume of The Supplement to the Oxford English Dictionary, and is the author of The Spoken Word: A BBC Guide. He is also the editor of William Cobbett's A Grammar of the English Language.

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