English Usage Authorities

These are the authorities I cite in English Like It Is. Most are UK publications with UK style, but grammar and usage rules and guidelines generally apply equally in the United States.

Burchfields The New Fowler’s Modern English Usage is my touchstone. Every teacher of English to foreigners will have a well-thumbed copy of Murphys comprehensive English Grammar in Use close to hand. Journalists will find the Times and the online Guardian and Reuters stylebooks especially helpful. Some usage guides can be quite idiosyncratic, so it is advisable to consult a few.

BEU – Basic English Usage, Michael Swan, Oxford University Press, 1984

CCEED – Collins Cobuild Essential English Dictionary, London/Glasgow, 1988

CCEU – Collins Cobuild English Usage, John Sinclair, Editor-in-Chief, Collins Cobuild / HarperCollins, UK, 1992

CDEU – The Cassell Dictionary of English Usage, Loreto Todd, London, 1997

CED – Chambers English Dictionary, London/Edinburgh, 1901

CEED – Chambers Encyclopedic English Dictionary, Edinburgh, 1994

CEU – Cassell English Usage, Tim Storrie and James Matson, eds., London, 1991

CGCEE – The Cassell Guide to Common Errors in English, Harry Blamires, London, 1997

CGEL – A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language, ed. Randolph Quirk et al., Longman, London & New York, 1985

CLD – Cassell’s Latin Dictionary, J. R. V. Marchant and Joseph F. Charles, Funk & Wagnalls, New York, 1957

COD – The Concise Oxford Dictionary (1995) (This edition has helpful usage notes.)

COD 1976 – The Concise Oxford Dictionary (1976)

CPEP2 – Cambridge Proficiency Examination Practice 2, Teacher’s Book, University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate, Cambridge University Press, 1987

DEU – Dictionary of English Usage, John O. E. Clark, Harrap, London, 1990

DTW – The Penguin Dictionary of Troublesome Words, Bill Bryson, Penguin, 1984, 1987

EGU – English Grammar in Use, Raymond Murphy, Cambridge University Press, 1985, 1994

EoS – Elements of Style, William Strunk, Jr., and E. B. White, Macmillan, New York, 1935, 1959, 1972, 1979; in private circulation by Strunk before 1920.

EOWD – The Electronic Oxford Wordpower Dictionary, Sally Wehmeier, ed., 1993

FAE – Focus on Advanced English, Sue O’Connell, Addison Wesley Longman, UK, 1999

FFC – Focus on First Certificate, Sue O’Connell, Nelson, 1987

FMEU – Fowler’s Modern English Usage, Sir Ernest Gowers, Oxford, 1965. This is the second edition of Fowler’s Modern English Usage (MEU), often called “Gowers’s Fowler’s”.

FWNSDEL – Funk & Wagnalls New Standard Dictionary of the English Language, New York, 1959

GBE – Guide to Better English, Martin H. Manser, Bloomsbury, London, 1988, 1994

GE – Green English, Loreto Todd, The O’Brien Press, Dublin, 1999

G-EL – A Greek-English Lexicon, Sir Henry Stuart Jones and Robert Scott, Oxford, 1940

GS – The Guardian Stylebook, David Marsh and Nikki Marshall, Guardian Books, London, 2004

GSwww – The Guardian Stylebook online at http://www.guardian.co.uk/styleguide

HDCU – Harper Dictionary of Contemporary Usage, William and Mary Morris, Harper & Row, New York, 1975

KE – The King’s English, by H. W. Fowler and F. G. Fowler, Second Edition, Oxford/Clarendon, 1906 (described by Henry Fowler as “a sort of English composition manual from the negative point of view”)

LDCE – Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, UK, 1987

LGEU – Longman Guide to English Usage, Sidney Greenbaum and Janet Whitcut, Longman, UK, 1988

Lowth – A Short Introduction to English Grammar, Robert Lowth, Thomas Ewing, Dublin, 1774

MEU – Modern English Usage, H. W. Fowler, 1926 (1994, Wordsworth, UK)

MTG – Mind the Gaffe: The Penguin Guide to Common Errors in English, R. L. Trask, Penguin, London, 2001

NFMEU – The New Fowler’s Modern English Usage, Robert Burchfield, Oxford, 1996. This third edition of Fowler’s Modern English Usage is a virtual rewrite.

NODE – The New Oxford Dictionary of English, Oxford/Clarendon, 1998. Includes usage notes.

OCP – Oxford Companion to Philosophy, 1995

OED2 – The Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition, 1989

OGEL – The Oxford Guide to the English Language, E. S. C. Weiner and J. M. Hawkins, 1984

PEG – A Practical English Grammar, A. J. Thomson and A. V. Martinet, OUP, 1980

PEG2 – A Practical English Grammar (second edition), A. J. Thomson and A. V. Martinet, OUP, 1986

PEU – Practical English Usage, Michael Swan, Oxford University Press, 1980

PEU2 – Practical English Usage (second edition), Michael Swan, Oxford University Press, 1995

PGWE – A Pocket Guide to Written English, Michael Temple, John Murray, London, 1978

P&S – Phrases and Sayings, Nigel Rees, Bloomsbury, 1997

RS – The Rathmines Stylebook, David Rice, Folens, Dublin, 1982, 1993. “Based on widely accepted newspaper practice … to reflect the general usage throughout Ireland” and published originally for the Rathmines (Dublin) School of Journalism.

RSG – The Reuters (Handbook of Journalism) General Style Guide, http://handbook.reuters.com/index.php

SOED – The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 1933

TGESU – The Times Guide to English Style and Usage, Simon Jenkins, ed., 1992. Jenkins, editor of The Times 1990-92, has been described in The Observer as “‘the acceptable face of fogeyism’, affably fronting a mindless campaign against modernism”. (Obs 17/12/00 Review p. 3)

TW – Troublesome Words, Bill Bryson, Penguin, UK, 2002. This is the third edition of The Penguin Dictionary of Troublesome Words (DTW), 1984.

U&A – Usage and Abusage, Eric Partridge, 1942 … (1994 edition ed. Janet Whitcut), Hamish Hamilton, London, 1994

V-PWG – The Vest-Pocket Writer’s Guide, Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1987; based on The American Heritage Dictionary

WNWDAE – Webster’s New World Dictionary of American English, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1988         

WNWDAL – Webster’s New World Dictionary of the American Language, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1984

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