First Thoughts

Modern English Usage

Harold Ross New Yorker


So, sorry to outpedantry your (failed) attempt at pedantry but in the modern (English and Italian)…
It is not actually it is regarded to as an ethic slur in modern English and that alone.…
Heaver's just going along with modern UK English. you…
And if you're a stickler for usage, Garner's Modern English Us…
... it is the writer's ordinary duty to settle up with his afterthoughts before he writes his sentence ...' (Fowler…
I have never seen usage of "he" in initial caps in-between sentences in modern English. I…
While many aspects of Latin have made their way into English language, this particular grammar rule is…
Fowler's Modern English Usage says "-pi is wrong and -podes pedantic." Never forgotten that.
Fowler prefers referendums (Modern English Usage 2nd Edition) and I defer to him in all such matters
Would love to hear your take, of new 4th ed. of "Modern English Usage"!
Modern English Usage app undergoing more testing. Should be available on iTunes July 15.
The battle may be won but... Interesting to read this from Fowler's 1998 'Modern English Usage' esp the last sentence.
A copy of Sir Ernest Gowers' 'Modern English Usage' is on its way to you, Carl. :)
A very fair point. However, 'tired of' is considered standard English & an old usage. 'Bored of' a modern error. xx
In a series of modern English usage:
Please buy Savage a copy of 'Fowler's Modern English Usage' he certainly needs it.
I be pedantic, fo' sho', but I down wit Fowler's Modern English Usage
gives us a New Modern English Usage. A booklet is 'inaugurated', not released/ launched.
By modern English, are you referring to the usage of the terms "squad", "swag", "mom", "af" and "lol"?
The irony of the Latin word "data" conforming to modern English usage, when Latin used to be the Language of Science.
For that matter most English words are. Spelling usage between British and modern American varies z for s mostly
Nerd alert: Picked up a 1930 Fowler's Modern English Usage for my copy desk. Thanks to for guiding copy reference library.
on Fowler’s Dict. of Modern English Usage: “This ought to be the last edition of Fowler.” Brilliant
There is a new edition of Fowler's Modern English Usage!
My review of Fowler’s Dictionary of Modern English Usage, 4th edition (by
Albert Butts tagged me a couple of days ago to list 10 books that have influenced me. Here is my list. Five from non-fiction: The Power Broker by Robert Caro [Read this if you want to understand how government works.] The Elements of Style by William Strunk [Included because I never took English composition seriously until I was an adult. Also recommend Fowler’s Modern English Usage.] The Lives of a Cell by Lewis Thomas [Because there is beauty and elegance in science.] Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen [Even though I saw the movie before reading the book, I still cried when she described the lions standing on his grave.] The Visual Display of Quantitative Information by Edward Tufte [Wonderful book about how to use visual information to tell your story.] Five from fiction: Middlemarch by George Eliot [My choice for the best novel ever written.] Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov [Terrifying subject, but the writing is beautiful.] Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut [So it goes.] The History of Tom Jones, a Foundl ...
“Evelyn Waugh sent me a copy of Ward Fowler’s *Modern English Usage* as an incentive to clean up my prose style” - (Dec 31, ‘49)
I recently told you that H.W. Fowler ("Modern English Usage") wrote that you should never use the word "purchase"...
A Dictionary of Modern English Usage, second ed., 1965, from Oxford University Press.
$10 on City Activation. $50 on 'The Elements of Style' & 'Fowler's Modern English Usage' still leaves quite a bit.
It's the birthday of a man called a "lexicographical genius" by the London Times, Henry Watson Fowler (books by this author), born in Tonbridge, England (1858), most famous as the author of A Dictionary of Modern English Usage, which he published in 1926. His style guide — now generally referred to as "Fowler's Modern English Usage" or even just "Fowler's" — has sold more than a million copies. Shortly after it was first published, New Yorker magazine editor Harold Ross was compulsively consulting Fowler's guide to compensate for his own lack of formal education. Poet T.S. Eliot prescribed that "every person who wishes to write ought to read [Fowler's guide] for a quarter of an hour every night before going to bed." The usage guide was not Fowler's first book, nor was writing his first career. He taught Latin and Greek and English grammar at an Anglican boys' school for almost two decades until, at the age of 41, he had a philosophical or religious crisis or both. He decided that since he was agnostic ...
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Never Too Poor to Give By Drema Sizemore Drudge No one has ever become poor by giving. ~Anne Frank "Don't you have any toys you want to share?" I asked my son during our church's Christmas toy drive. "What about all those things in your closet you haven't used in years?" "I don't have anything," he said. "We're so poor." We're only "poor" because we refuse to buy him the texting phone he wants for Christmas, which would also require a monthly texting charge. "You're never so poor you have nothing to give," I found myself saying to him, a phrase my mother often used on me. How could I help him understand, when I myself still whined about things I wanted, like the Fowler's Modern English Usage book that cost nearly $40? I knew Santa Hubby wasn't going to pony up for that one. What about that Vera Wang coat I wanted from Kohl's, the one with the $150 price tag? No, that wasn't happening, either. At work the next day, one of my students said, "I didn't spell your name right," as she handed me a Christmas gift ...
'Fowler's A Dictionary of Modern English Usage says: 'Irony is a form of utterance that postulates a double audience, consisting of one party that hearing shall hear & shall not understand, & another party that, when more is meant than meets the ear, is aware both of that more & of the outsiders' incomprehension.'
What the crap is a Frayre model? Isaac is trying to explain the necessity of providing a "non-example" of a vocabulary word. My solution is to write any other word from the English language that is patently not the vocabulary word in question. Example: inscribe. Non-example: booger. What the crap are they teaching these days? I suppose it should be a clue that English is no longer acceptable but it has to be English Language Arts. As if the rules governing how we write and speak are no longer of primary concern. Wait, that's right, they don't. All of this crap dreamed up by some egghead academic scrambling for a thesis topic. I may be one of the few people alive who not only owns a copy of Fowler's Modern English Usage but read it. Perhaps a return to such basics would churn out a generation of literate urchins we would feel comfortable passing such a majestic tongue to instead of a tribe of troglodytes.
While we’ve been on the subject of seasons, you might have wondered about the word “autumn” compared to “fall.” In the British Isles, the term “autumn” has been used since the 1300s, and the phrase “the fall of the leaf” or just “the fall” was used from the 1500s until about 1800. After that time, “autumn” became the common seasonal term in Britain. According to The New Fowler’s Modern English Usage, “whereas ‘the fall of the leaf’ (less frequently ‘the fall of the year’) and then ‘fall’ by itself gradually became standard in America from the late 17th century onwards". However, one exception for American usage of “autumn,” instead of “fall,” is with the autumnal equinox.
I found this on-line of course...as I was reading a friend's e-mail and saw that he used the word "orientated" which made me wonder...where did it come from? Well, here's the answer. ORIENTATED VERSUS ORIENTED Q. From David Holland: I am uneasy about the word orientated as in business-orientated. I feel the word should be oriented. Am I right, wrong, pedantic, or what? A. We have a minor oddity here, in that both orient and orientate come from the same French verb, orienter, but were introduced at different times, the shorter one in the eighteenth century and the longer in the middle of the nineteenth. There’s been a quiet war going on between the two of them ever since. I tend to use oriented and orientated pretty indiscriminately myself, choosing the shorter one when it seems to fit the flow of the sentence. Robert Burchfield, in the Third Edition of Fowler’s Modern English Usage, says “one can have no fundamental quarrel with anyone who decides to use the longer of the two words”. But all this ...
Language expert David Crystal talks about the original 'Fowler's Modern English Usage': via
‘Intense’ is the right word. You should read Fowler’s Modern English Usage on the use of the two words.” - Sir Winston Churchill
I was very impressed and learnt a lot from H.G. Fowler's "A Dictionary of Modern English Usage", another summer reading in high school days.
"Dominos/Dominoes" ...happily Professor Fowler was created by ALMIGHTY GOD to resolve just such issues, such dilemmas, as this one. And we read, my children, in his Holy Book ["Modern English Usage"]: "Words used as freely in the plural as in the singular usually have -oes...so, banjoes, bravoes, cargoes, dingoes, dominoes, flamingoes, heroes, and potatoes [notice this, Mr. Quayle.!]. I am relieved to find the correct plural spelling for "dingoes." This sort of thing keeps me awake at night.
A Dictionary of Modern English Usage: The Classic First Edition: No book had more influence on twentieth-century...
Fowler's Modern English Usage (Hardcover): Fowler's Modern English Usage is the world-famous guide to English us...
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