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Standardizing the Language

 

Lindley Murray's English Grammar (1795)

 

  • Murray (1745-1826) was a New York lawyer and businessman

 
  • In c. 1784 he retired to Holgate, near York, England, because of ill-health

 
  • He was asked to provide material for use at a local girls' school

 
  • As a result, he produced English Grammar, adapted to the different classes of learners; With an Appendix, containing Rules and Observations for Promoting Perspicuity in Speaking and Writing

 
  • Murray's Grammar became the second bestselling work (after Noah Webster's spelling-book) in the English-speaking world, with 200 editions by 1850

 
  • It sold over 20 million copies and was translated into many languages

 
  • It was even more popular in the United States than in Britain

 
  • At least until the 1960s, school grammars would all trace their ancestry back to Murray

 

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STANDARDIZING THE LANGUAGE

  Institutionalizing Standard Language

  Standardization of Spelling

  Standardization of Grammar

  Lindley Murray's English Grammar

  Murray's Rules

  “Elocution Walker”

  Prescriptivist Fallacy

  Positive Prescriptivism

MODERN ENGLISH

  The "Ink-horn" Controversy 

  Humour & Pathos in Shakespeare

  Biblical Phrases Test

  British vs. American English

  More

 

 
 
 
 

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