Talk:A Dictionary of Modern English Usage

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Untitled comment[edit]

Your very first example, in which Fowler speaks of "The English-speaking world" makes clear that his book is not about only "British English usage". Finn (John T) 20:14, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

That "noteworthy" quote is pants[edit]

I'd like to remove the split infinitive quote - it's dull and contentless. Can anyone fix the article by explaining how that quote is "noteworthy"? If not, it's for the chop. Gronky 02:13, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

Added some quotes[edit]

I just added a few quotes to this article. I notice Gronky above seems to have removed a quote several months ago. I wasnt aware of that when I added the quotes (today). This book is a real treasure, and the witticisms are what make it so special. I think that this encyclopedia article should include a few of the more memorable quotes, so people who visit the article (but who have not yet read the book) can get a feel for how humorous the book is.

Anyway, if anyone thinks the quotes should be removed, please contact me first: I think they are essential to the article.

Conversely, if there are any fans of the book out there that think the quotes are worthwhile here, please speak up. Noleander (talk) 18:04, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Gronky is like a person who hears some guys laughing at a joke and says. "I don't get it. What's so funny?" If you try to explain wit, the explanation always sounds a bit flat, but I can at least say the split infinitive quote is a classic statement of a hoary question. It's to the point, covers the ground neatly, and disposes of the problem for good, except among pedants. I think it has every right to be on the page.Petgoanna (talk) 16:45, 26 February 2014 (UTC)


Surely it's a usage guide rather than a style guide? It's just that a lot of people (perhaps including a lot of American style-guide publishers) don't know the difference. (talk) 10:39, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

I have never had the joy to understand the difference, nor the principle of either. This man essentially just writes down how he uses English and says that people who lack in following his usage have no 'style'. I myself try to strictly adhere to using plurals and as many grammatical inflictions of loan words directly taken from the original language as possible. Which is not limited to Latin at all. All the Japanese nouns I employ have no distinct plural in English, and I do try to do everything correct, so indeed, no things as 'stati' as a plural for status, or spellings like 'fœtus'. I am finding it hard to understand that style guides or usage guides actually work in the way asserted by me as aforementioned. So I shall ask, is this really so? And the whole 'pædantic' nature of adhering to this practice strikes me as even more absurd. 'Pædantic' is often a term attributed to something by classes who are less formal or intelligent if you will. If a mathematician makes note of that the work of a biologist asserts certain logical fallacies, than he or she will be viewed as pædantic, conversely if a logician feels that the semi-formal proof of the mathematician is not enough and demands the entire proof be præsented in First-Order Logic, then in turn the mathematician will assert the logician be pædantic. So indeed, for me: 'octopodes'. I have seen such style guides on Wikipedia be used as if they are authoritative sources even. They simply remain the opinion of a person, and in fact of a person feeling that those adhering not to his or her ways have no 'style', which I assert as being not pædantic but prætentious. Niarch (talk) 09:28, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
P.S. One should also probably note that different styles will be fit for different situations. It has grown to become completely accepted to use the printable logo of any TeX-derivative software in-line in the text as substitute for the name. In any other context, even mathematical ones using a different logo, that would appear as awkward to most.


I take it from google that tubercolis is a strain of/is the microbacteria involved with tuberculosis, but can't find a reference for it in wiki or a good description in google. I'm putting this here in case someone thinks it's a misspelling of TB. Julia Rossi (talk) 22:03, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for Dedication quote[edit]

I want to thank for adding the quote about his brother. Reading that line always brings tears to my eyes, and probably illuminates this book more than any entry every could. --Noleander (talk) 18:50, 1 May 2009 (UTC)

Another edition?[edit]

Hi there, I have another different edition of Fowler's. It's a reprint of the first edition with new introduction and notes by David Crystal. Not sure how to cite that within Wiki's system. ISBN 978-0-19-953534-7. It's OUP again. And it's 2009. Link to OUP page: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:49, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

Original 1926 Fowler[edit]

In addition to being "renowned for its witty passages", it's also renowned for its idiosyncracies (and in certain cases, its flagrant eccentricities), and for Fowler's habit of inventing out of whole cloth a number of "correct usage distinctions" which had never existed in actual English language usage. AnonMoos (talk) 10:26, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

Using Wikipedia and Google-search to learn better English grammar[edit]

I came to this excellent article after ending up at the Strunk and White article. I'll be making some comments, since the TALK comments are here aging. For example, the first sentence of the article is rather 'run-on' (but excellent) and so do we like this direction of 'modern English usage' or are we just being encyclopedically critical and observant? Probably the latter. And what is a split-infinitive anyway? I did a Google-search: A famous New Yorker cartoon shows Captain Bligh sailing away from the Bounty in a rowboat and shouting, “So Mr. Christian! You propose to unceremoniously cast me adrift?” The caption beneath the cartoon reads: “The crew can no longer tolerate Captain Bligh's ruthless splitting of infinitives.” — Charles Edwin Shipp (talk) 01:38, 7 December 2013 (UTC)

Strunk and White are quite good, but that is American English. Nothing wrong with that. Do we have an article on English as she is spoke? Si Trew (talk) 11:39, 10 May 2014 (UTC)
We do have an article on English as she is spoke. That's made my day. Si Trew (talk) 11:41, 10 May 2014 (UTC)