Looking for ‘Wild’s’ grammar…

At the moment I am transcribing and analysing nineteenth- century family letters from New England. In one of the letters a schoolboy mentions Wild’s grammar. So far I have not succeeded in finding details about this book. It may have been printed in America, but at the time grammars were also often imported from Great Britain. If anyone can give me more information about this book I would be much obliged.

Bas van Elburg

ECCO Part II: for better or for worse?

ECCO Part II, a new version of Eighteenth Century Collections Online was released earlier this year. It has everything that was in ECCO, plus nearly fifty thousand additional titles and a new interface. One of the great additions for this group for instance is the two volumes of the first edition (1755) of Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary (in folio). This all sounds great, but it seems that not everything is improved. Read more »

Fowler into OED

In September this year, a facsimile reprint was published by Oxford University Press, as part of their World Classics Series, of the first edition of Fowler’s Modern English Usage (1926). The edition includes an introduction from David Crystal, in which he assesses Fowler’s status … Read more »

Boswell’s BMI?

Boswell’s entry in the ODNB reads that he "stood about 5 feet 6 inches tall, and his weight at 1776 was recorded as 11 stone 12lbs". He was 36 at the time, and his BMI (Body Mass Index) … Read more »

Robert Baker in ECCO

To my suprise, I found two additions this morning to the publications by Robert Baker listed in ECCO. Surprisingly, though, they don’t show up every time, but I can’t work out why this is.

Robert Baker is the author of Reflections on the English Language (1770, 2nd ed. 1779), and various other works in ECCO. His Reflections is the first … Read more »

How long does long s continue?

I have just found a cup which was produced on the occasion of the coronation of the Dutch Queen Wilhelmina. The text, "Kronings Feest 1898", contains a long s. Are there any differences in the retention of long s in English and Dutch? Jane Austen’s gravestone similarly still contains long s, which seems to me rather late, for English anyway.

Best student presentation

Lyda Fens-de Zeeuw, one of the PhD students of the Codifiers project, has won a prize “in recognition of the best student presentations delivered during the conference on Prescriptivism and Patriotism, Language Norms and Identities, from Nationalism to Globalization”, New College, University of Toronto, 17-19 August 2009. She won the prize for her paper called “Accent on Arrival: prescribing the communicability of professional immigrants in Canadian labour markets”, which she co-authored with Kori Allan from the University of Toronto.

Jazz and the OED (a note from Bob Rigter)

On his retirement from the University of Leiden, Professor Noel Osselton was presented with a collection of studies in Tieken & Frankis (eds.) 1991, Language usage and description, Amsterdam: Rodopi.

Since Noel Osselton was a ‘dictionary man’, it was a pleasure Read more »

Ann Fisher in the New York Times

On 26 July 2009, a short piece appeared on the “all-purpose pronoun”, which was first written about by Ann Fisher in her New Grammar (1745). You will find the link to the article here.

Next Monthly Lunch Meeting

The next session of the Monthly Lunch Meetings will start in September. They are tentatively scheduled for Friday the 25th of September, October 30th, November 27th, and December 18th. More information will follow shortly on the speakers and location.