Spellings are made by people. Dictionaries – eventually – reflect popular choices.
As I get older and I get a few more years experience I become more like Dad, you know, King Lear.
Academics don’t normally manage to alter people’s way of thinking through their strength of argument.
At the same time we overlap, because, I do linguistics, and Ben did a first degree in Linguistics at Lancaster University, so he knows some of my subject.
The story of English spelling is the story of thousands of people – some well-known, most totally unknown – who left a permanent linguistic fingerprint on our orthography.
Word books traditionally focus on unusual and quirky items. They tend to ignore the words that provide the skeleton of the language, without which it would fall apart, such as ‘and’ and ‘what,’ or words that provide structure to our conversation, such as ‘hello.’
It hasn’t been a problem with Ben, I think we worked together very well, we don’t have rows.
It took three years to put Shakespeare’s words together, there were a lot of words to be studied and a lot of words to be sorted out, and it proved to be a major project.
Although many texters enjoy breaking linguistic rules, they also know they need to be understood.
You don’t talk to a linguist without having what you say taken down and used in evidence against you at some point in time.
A feature of English that makes it different compared with all other languages is its global spread.
Ever since the arrival of printing – thought to be the invention of the devil because it would put false opinions into people’s minds – people have been arguing that new technology would have disastrous consequences for language.
Anyone interested in language ends up writing about the sociological issues around it.
Vocabulary is a matter of word-building as well as word-using.
Text messaging is just the most recent focus of people’s anxiety; what people are really worried about is a new generation gaining control of what they see as their language.