- The King's English
"The King's English" is a book on English usage and grammar. It was written by the Fowler brothers,
Henry Watson Fowlerand Francis George Fowler, and published in 1906, and thus pre-dates by 20 years "Modern English Usage", which was written by Henry alone after Francis's death in 1918.
"The King's English" is less like a dictionary than "Modern English Usage"; it consists of longer articles on more general topics such as vocabulary, syntax and punctuation, and draws heavily on examples from many sources throughout. The third and last edition was published in 1930, by which time "Modern English Usage" had superseded it. The book is now considered outdated, and some of the Fowlers' opinions about correct English usage, idiosyncratic to begin with, are at best misleading and at worst incorrect with regard to contemporary standards. For example, the Fowlers disapprove of the word "concision" on the grounds that it had a technical meaning in
theology, "to which it may well be left"; but "concision" is now a common synonym for "conciseness". The Fowlers also criticised the use of "standpoint" and "just how much" (as in "Just how much more of this can we take?"), describing them as undesirable "Americanisms", but both are now common in British English.
The book has remained in print since its first publication.
*Henry Fowler, Frank Fowler, Matthew Parris (Introduction). "The King's English (Oxford Language Classics Series)". Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-860507-2.
*The full text of the second, 1908, edition is available online at: http://www.bartleby.com/116/
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