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W&N Language and Linguistics HB August £12.99 302pp 978 0 297 87193 4 eBook: £12.99 / 978 0 297 87194 1

Are standards of English alright – or should that be all right? To knowingly split an infinitive or not to?

OLIVER KAMM Accidence Will Happen The Non-Pedantic Guide to English Usage

A witty, authoritative and sometimes provocative guide to the use and abuse of the English language. We learn language by instinct, but good English, we are told, requires rules. Every generation believes that standards of English are deteriorating, yet people carry on speaking, writing and understanding language, and usage changes and adapts. 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 to school children 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 is an indispensable companion for all readers, writers and users of modern English. Oliver Kamm is a chief leader writer and columnist for The Times. He is the newspaper's principal editorial writer on economics, international affairs and culture, as well as their unofficial expert on language and style, a subject he tackles in his immensely popular weekly column, ‘The Pedant’.

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Location: London Available for interview www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/public/profile/Oliver-Kamm @OliverKamm

W&N Non-Fiction • August 2014