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KINGS ENGLISH, The

KING'S ENGLISH, The. A usage manual published in 1906 by the brothers Henry W. FOWLER and Francis G. Fowler. It was aimed at writers who ‘seldom look into a grammar or composition book’. TKE contain articles on VOCABULARY (concrete versus abstract words, MALAPROPISMS, LOANWORDS, SLANG, etc.), SYNTAX (relative pronouns, gerunds, shall/will, prepositions, etc.), what the Fowlers call ‘Airs and Graces’ (ARCHAISM, elegant variation, INVERSION, METAPHOR, etc.), PUNCTUATION, EUPHONY, QUOTATIONS and misquotations, MEANING, AMBIGUITY, and STYLE. Most sections are supported by illustrative examples drawn from unfabricated sources, in particular from unspecified 19c works by Meredith, Thackeray, George Eliot, and others, and from Victorian or Edwardian issues (exact dates not specified) of The Times, The Daily Telegraph, and The Guernsey Evening Press (the brothers lived on Guernsey, one of the CHANNEL ISLANDS). More than any earlier usage book, TKE introduced a new national pastime—the hunting and exhibiting of solecisms. See DICTIONARY OF MODERN ENGLISH USAGE. Compare AMERICAN LANGUAGE.

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