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Randolph Quirk, 19 February 1981

Language – the Loaded Weapon 
by Dwight Bolinger.
Longman, 224 pp., £9.95, October 1980, 0 582 29107 0
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... cultivate a more widely-spread taste for well-formed speech and writing. Among the precious few, Dwight Bolinger has made contributions that are especially precious. An immense body of solid descriptive research (primarily in English and Spanish, and always marked by sharpness of insight) puts him firmly in the camp of academic linguists. But he has ...

Simon Agonistes

Randolph Quirk, 5 November 1981

Paradigms Lost: Reflections on Literacy and its Decline 
by John Simon.
Chatto, 222 pp., £9.95, October 1981, 0 7011 2601 9
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... of the ‘expert’. If he confined his excoriations to these in the manner of his compatriot Dwight Bolinger or even of our own now unfashionable Fowler, Simon might be the force for good that he obviously wishes to be. But even in such welcome therapy, he pricks us raw with the chips he carries on his shoulder. We get snidely covert attacks on ...

English Changing

Frank Kermode, 7 February 1980

The State of the Language 
edited by Leonard Michaels and Christopher Ricks.
California, 609 pp., £14.95, January 1980, 0 520 03763 4
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... seems to argue that Business needs not less double talk but more. So there is some reason for Dwight Bolinger to say that we need to be more aware of what is being done to us; we should try to be metalinguists, and cultivate a metapragmatic awareness of our own language. To remain metalinguistically naked, he warns, is an invitation to ...

The Englishness of English

Roy Harris, 6 November 1980

Studies in English Linguistics for Randolph Quirk 
edited by Sidney Greenbaum and Jan Svartvik.
Longman, 304 pp., £18, September 1980, 0 582 55079 3
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... Dictionary of Current English) is itself impressive: Noam Chomsky, Ruth Kempson, Sidney Greenbaum, Dwight Bolinger, P.H. Matthews, Sven Jacobson, M.A.K. Halliday, Rodney Huddleston, Geoffrey Leech, Jennifer Coates, F.R. Palmer, R.A. Close, John Sinclair, Jan Firbas, Nils Enkvist, David Crystal, Jan Svartvik, Wolf-Dietrich Bald, Nelson Francis, Morton ...

Good enough for Jesus

Charlotte Brewer, 25 January 1990

The State of the Language: 1990 Edition 
edited by Christopher Ricks and Leonard Michaels.
Faber, 531 pp., £17.50, January 1990, 9780571141821
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Clichés and Coinages 
by Walter Redfern.
Blackwell, 305 pp., £17.50, October 1989, 0 631 15691 7
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Rhetoric: The Wit of Persuasion 
by Walter Nash.
Blackwell, 241 pp., £25, October 1989, 0 631 16754 4
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... Paul Theroux, Fay Weldon, Harold Bloom, Susan Sontag, Jeane Kirkpatrick, Isaac Asimov, Carl Sagan, Dwight Bolinger, Elizabeth Traugott and many more). What is revealing is how the panel’s response to certain types of usage has changed between 1969, the date of the first survey, and 1988. Take, for example, one of Amis’s favourite bête noires, the ...

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