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Accidence Will Happen: The Non-Pedantic Guide to English Usage: Book by Oliver Kamm

Accidence Will Happen: The Non-Pedantic Guide to English Usage

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ISBN: 9780297871934    Publisher: Orion Publishing Co Year of publishing: 2015     Format:  Hardback No of Pages: 320        
Are standards of English alright - or should that be all right? To knowingly split an infinitive or not to? And what about ending a sentence with preposition, or for that matter beginning one with 'and'?...Read more
Are standards of English alright - or should that be all right? To knowingly split an infinitive or not to? And what about ending a sentence with preposition, or for that matter beginning one with 'and'? From splitting infinitives to dangling prepositions, this erudite, entertaining and deeply reassuring guide demonstrates that many of the so-called rules of good style are little more than folklore mixed with prejudice and can be cheerfully disregarded. Oliver Kamm explains why the pedants are wrong, why the much-lamented 'good grammar' that ceased to be taught in the 1960s should not be brought back, and why to deliberately split an infinitive, in the right context, is perfectly alright. This is a book for anyone who cares about language and how it is used. With authoritative advice on the linguistic conundrums that we all face, ACCIDENCE WILL HAPPEN will become an indispensable companion for readers, writers and users of modern English.
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About the author: Oliver Kamm
Oliver Kamm is a chief leader writer and columnist for THE TIMES. As a self-confessed reformed pedant he is the newspaper's unofficial expert on language... Read more
Oliver Kamm is a chief leader writer and columnist for THE TIMES. As a self-confessed reformed pedant he is the newspaper's unofficial expert on language and style, a subject he tackles in his long-running immensely popular weekly column, 'The Pedant'. View his profile at www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/public/profile/Oliver-Kamm and follow him on Twitter: @OliverKamm
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Review:
Entertaining and refreshing... [Kamm's] book is a welcome corrective to the notion that there is an objective standard we should strive for, and a celebration of a language in flux -- Ian Critchley...Read more
Entertaining and refreshing... [Kamm's] book is a welcome corrective to the notion that there is an objective standard we should strive for, and a celebration of a language in flux -- Ian Critchley THE SUNDAY TIMES Kamm's case against the pedants is compelling ... and he really does manage to make pedants look ridiculous -- Tom Payne THE DAILY TELEGRAPH Kamm's tolerance is certainly more preferable to the bigotry of sticklers who treat grammatical lapses as crimes or sins -- Peter Conrad THE OBSERVER [Kamm's] case against the pedants is compelling: peddling made-up rules, they either stray into contradiction or are forced to denounce Milton as sloppy THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH A joyous and joyously liberating assault on the 'rules' of grammar which are little more than a hodgepodge of contradictory superstitions. Kamm's weapons are erudition and raw polemical vigour ... It is the most sensible style guide I have read, not least because Kamm always puts clarity first. I have only had ACCIDENCE WILL HAPPEN for a week, and have already referred to it dozens of times. If this book is a bestseller, as it may well be, its monument will be the liberated prose of the writers Kamm has freed. -- Nick Cohen THE SPECTATOR Kamm is strongly influenced by Chomsky and is a "reformed stickler" ... his book delights by its puncturing of pomposity ... and its identification of pronouncements that have no foundation in scholarship. It leaves the reader clear that debate in print about English usage is a branch of both entertainment and politics -- Glyn Paflin TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT 'This book came as a great relief. Although I feared I had a shaky grasp of formal grammar, Kamm reassures me that I have - in fact - acquired mastery as a native English speaker. With bracing confidence, he lays into pedants, sticklers and prescriptivists everywhere. Nevertheless, he's no anarchist: this book provides invaluable advice on writing with style, wit and verve' -- Sir David Bell, vice-chancellor, University of Reading TIMES HIGHER EDUCATION SUPPLEMENT ACCIDENCE WILL HAPPEN ... is a superb book, and I challenge any pedant to read it and not emerge with a more liberal view on usage -- John Rentoul INDEPENDENT ACCIDENCE WILL HAPPEN ... is informed by astonishing erudition on the history and grammar of the English language -- Steven Pinker OBSERVER
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