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W&N Language & Linguistics HB February £12.99 304pp 978 0 297 87193 4 eBook: £14.99 / 978 0 297 87193 4

‘The most intelligent and entertaining book about the English language I’ve ever read. Pedants are going to hate this book – and quietly take its lessons to heart’ – James Shapiro, author of 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare

W&N Non-Fiction / Language & Linguistics • February 2015

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. 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. With authoritative advice on the linguistic conundrums that we all face, Accidence Will Happen is an indispensable companion for readers, writers and users of modern English. Oliver Kamm is a 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’.


Location: East London Available for interview @OliverKamm /public/profile/Oliver-Kamm