Oxford Fowler's Modern English Usage Dictionary by H. W. Fowler, Ernest Gowers

By H. W. Fowler, Ernest Gowers

A regular reference paintings in the course of the English-speaking international, this paintings is extraordinary not just for the completeness of its info yet for the wit and customary experience with which it's been compiled.

Amazon.com evaluate A advisor to express words, grammar, and pronunciation may be key; it can also be famous. yet loved? but from its first visual appeal in 1926, Fowler's used to be simply that. Henry Watson Fowler at the beginning aimed his Dictionary of recent English Usage, as he wrote to his publishers in 1911, at "the half-educated Englishman of literary proclivities who wishes to understand am i able to say so-&-so?" He was once after all enthusiastic about, in Swift's word, "proper phrases of their right places." yet having been a schoolmaster, Fowler knew that liberal doses of favor, wit, and caprice could preserve his guide off the shelf and in writers' fingers. He additionally felt that description needs to accompany prescription, and that advocating pedantic "superstitions" and "fetishes" will be to no one's virtue. Adepts will have their favourite inconsequential entries--from burgle to brood, truffle to turgid. might that lets quote all of them, yet we will not withstand a pair. the following Fowler lays into dedicated:

He is that rara avis a committed boxer. The carrying correspondent who wrote this obviously doesn't see why the literary critics must have a monopoly of this favorite notice of theirs, although he doesn't appear to imagine that it'll be enormously wanted in his department of the company.

remember the fact that, in a while rara avis can be smacked upside the pinnacle! And practically fares no higher: "It is unlucky that practically must have escaped from its actual that means into whatever like its opposite," Fowler starts. yet our linguistic hero additionally knew complete good whilst to place a crimp on comedy. a few words and correct makes use of, it truly is transparent, may consistently be worthy struggling with for, and the advisor hence levels from short definitions to concerned articles. Archaisms, for example, he thought of secure basically within the fingers of the skilled, and meaningless phrases, in particular these utilized by the younger, "are maybe more desirable for the psychologist than for the philologist." good, early life may possibly reply, "Whatever!"--though purely after studying the willing ameliorations among that word and what ever. (One can in simple terms think what Fowler might have made up of our late-20th-century abuses of like.) this can be the place Robert Burchfield's 1996 3rd variation is available in. definite, Fowler misplaced the struggle for one r in guerrilla and did not fare too good whilst it got here to quashing such style phrases as smear and seminal. yet he knew--and makes us ever aware--that language is a residing, respiring (and sometimes suffocating) factor, and we are hoping that he may have welcomed any and all revisions. Fowlerphiles should want to retain their first (if they're very fortunate) or moment variants handy, yet should still glance to Burchfield for brand new entries on such words as gay, iron curtain, and inchoate--not to say girl. --Kerry Fried

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Extra resources for Oxford Fowler's Modern English Usage Dictionary

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From our subject), and for to when repugnance is suggested {cruelty is a. to his nature). But this distinction is usually difficult to apply, and the truth seems rather that to is getting the upper hand of from in allerg(ic)(y) are often hard to decide between (cf. RHYME). NO one would propose to correct admiral, aisle, or cretin, back into conformity with Arabic amir, Latin ala, or Latin christianus, though the insertion of d and s, and the omission of h, are 'unetymological' ; and on the other hand unnoticed corrections of words taken from French (as scholastic, respelt on Greek oxoXrj after being taken directly from scolastique) are innumerable.

Not that the ignorant are now the only offenders; the following quotations are taken respectively from the title of a serious book, a review in the T L S , a speech by a Trade Union leader, and a speech by a Cabinet Minister. The SS: Alibi of a Nation. / It is doubtful whether an audience even of Mr. Wilso7i's coevals and juniors could be stimulated by a tract like this to anything but an extension of that bored mistrust of their elders which already provides so many of them with an alibi, j If people decide not to run after they have been nominated, that must not be used as an alibi to discredit the elected representatives of the people.

The most evil one the modern world has known. ale, beer. Both words are more than 1,000 years old, and seem originally to have been used as synonyms for the liquor made from fermented malt. They were distinguished when beer was appropriated to the kind brewed with an infusion of hops, first imported in the 16th c. g. pale, brown, rustic, audit. In ordinary use, as at table, beer is the natural word; ale has a flavour of GENTEELISM. alibi is a Latin word meaning elsewhere which has been adopted by British Law as a name for the defence against a criminal charge that seeks to establish the accused's innocence by proving that he was in some other place than the scene of the crime at the time when it was committed.

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