Fwd: usage ridicule

Amy West medievalist at W-STS.COM
Thu Mar 29 12:39:42 UTC 2012

On 3/29/12 12:02 AM, Automatic digest processor wrote:
>> The explosion of "a historical" around the middle of the last
>> >century probably has to do with America's increasing dominance of
>> >the publishing world.  Still, limiting it to British English shows
>> >"a historical" is still the more common form.

Could it also be connected to a shift in the dialect serving as the
standard? I think it's McWhorter(?) who identifies a shift from the
Eastern Boston Brahmin accent as dominant/standard in broadcasting and
film pre-WWII to the Midlands post-WWII.

Also, could it be connected to propagation of the "rule" in students'
grammar handbooks? Mandatory, universal public education is post-1930, I

---Amy West

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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