ERIC Number: ED265546
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982
Reference Count: N/A
Grammar and Good Taste: Reforming the American Language.
Baron, Dennis E.
Tracing both current concern for correctness in speech and writing and continued suspicion of formal language regulation, this book explores the history of American language reform and failure. The first three chapters examine early attitudes toward the English language in the New World, and the development of the concept of Federal English in post-Revolutionary America. The fourth and fifth chapters consider the movements for spelling reform and for the creation of a language academy on the model of the French Academy. Chapters six and seven then examine the role of the common schools in directing the course of English through grammar instruction and consider the numerous nineteenth-century guides to correct usage, which picked up where the schools left off (or which tried to succeed where the schools had failed) in their mission to create a linguistically orthodox, uniform, and sophisticated American public. The final chapters conclude with a brief look at the state of current language reform, which differs very little in form or substance from its precursors. Altogether, the chapters demonstrate that language reform in America, for all its good intentions, has proved an exercise in futility. (HOD)
Descriptors: Diachronic Linguistics, Dictionaries, Educational Change, Educational History, Grammar, Language Planning, Language Usage, Letters (Alphabet), Spelling, United States History
Yale University Press, 302 Temple St., New Haven, CT 06511 (25.00 cloth--ISBN-0-300-02799-0; $9.95 paperback--ISBN-0-300-03080-0). National Council of Teachers of English, 1111 Kenyon Rd., Urbana, IL 61801 (paperback, Stock No. 18739, $8.00 member, $10.25 nonmember).
Publication Type: Books; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Language Reform; Spelling Reform
Note: Published with assistance from the Kingsley Trust Association Publication Fund established by the Scroll and Key Society of Yale College.