HomeEvents CalendarGoing Grammando: A Linguist's Look at Grammar Pet Peeves

Going Grammando: A Linguist's Look at Grammar Pet Peeves

Thu, 03/10/2016 - 5:30pm
Conrad A. Elvehjem Building, L140
Speaker and Affiliation: 
Anne Curzan, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of English at the University of Michigan

From her perspective as a historian of the English language, linguist Anne Curzan will examine some of the most common grammar pet peeves, including “between you and I,” the use of "literally" to mean "figuratively," the new(ish) verb “to impact,” the pronoun “they” as a singular, the use of “that” for “who” in reference to people, dangling modifiers, and the use of “less” for “fewer.” How long have speakers been doing this? Should we accept it in speech? In formal writing? When does a “grammatical error” stop being an error? Curzan will explain how she handles these usage questions as a member of the American Heritage Dictionary Usage panel and as an academic writer and copy editor.

Anne Curzan is Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of English and Associate Dean for Humanities at the University of Michigan. She also holds faculty appointments in the Department of Linguistics and the School of Education. Professor Curzan currently serves as Co-Director of the Joint Ph.D. Program in English and Education and as the Faculty Athletics Representative for the University of Michigan. She received the University's Henry Russel Award for 2007, as well as the Faculty Achievement Award in 2009 and the 2012 John Dewey Award. Professor Curzan's research interests include the history of English, language and gender, corpus linguistics, historical sociolinguistics, pedagogy, and lexicography.

Presented in partnership with the English Department.

Center for the Humanities, English Department