Owlworks-Archangul publications

Matthew Gordon gordonmj at MISSOURI.EDU
Mon Apr 20 21:54:51 UTC 2009

A colleague passed along to me a press kit that she received from Owlworks,
which is apparently a publisher sponsored by The Archangul Foundation. She
thought it was an elaborate joke. I quote from the press release:

"The Archangul Foundation announces the publication of its Owlworks edition
of Adam Smith's _Of the Revenue of the Sovereign or Commonwealth_. A reprint
of book five of Smith's classic _The Wealth of Nations_ of 1776, this
edition is likely to spark a linguistic revolution. For the text has been
doctored throughout by D.N. DeLuna, who prescribes a novel way of regulating
the usage of our restrictive relative pronouns 'that' and 'which'... The
grammatical principle behind DeLuna's prescription has to do with the
proximity of these relative pronouns to the substantives to which they refer
back. The rule of thumb is, choose 'that' over 'which' only when the pronoun
immediately follows its so-called antecedent. Otherwise, employ 'which,'
even when there is but the interposition of a preposition or
punctuation-mark between the two... The new standard of usage is recommended
at once for speakers of American and British English."

I don't know how wacky this prescription is in practice, but it's an
interesting formulation and, I think, runs counter to the usual prescription
for 'that' vs. 'which.' I was also interested to see that, according to
their website, this organization has a mission of using "scholarly discourse
for the purpose of reforming the English language."

Also included in the press kit is a bookmark promoting "hu" as an epicene
pronoun (e.g. "To each hu own.").

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list