Points of View: Aspects of Present-day English
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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adjectives adverbs advertisements ain't American appear areas authors baggage beginning British called century changed circumstances common constructions contexts course dare death described designer Dictionary distinction edition elements English English Studies entries especially euphemism evidence examples existence expressed Fowler gerund give given governed grammar happened illustrative infinitive interest issue John keep kind language less letter linguistic listed London look matter meaning names natural normally noun object occur origin Oxford particular past Penelope Lively perhaps period person phrases preceded present problem pronouns published question reading reason recent recorded reported seems sense sentence sound sources speech standard Sunday syllable tense things turned usage various verb whereabouts words writers written young