Usage on the move: Evolution and re-volution

One of the problems involved in using corpora to investigate language change is that many corpora are synchronic, particularly spoken ones. To observe change, a combination of methods is the most fruitful approach. As well as the evidence of corpora, grammars and usage manuals of former decades and centuries reveal not only how standards of correctness and good style in relation to speaking and writing were perceived in their time, but also how some of the present-day debates relating to particular points of usage have a long history, including features of recent Americanisation. Such investigations, along with the evidence of field notes contribute to a more nuanced picture of current changes in English.

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