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One Hundred Years after Fowler 2024 : One Hundred Years After Fowler: Scholarly Collection on Fowler's Dictionary of Modern English Usage


When N/A
Where Scholarly Collection
Submission Deadline Sep 15, 2024
Notification Due Oct 1, 2024
Final Version Due Sep 1, 2025
Categories    linguistics   language   english   prescriptivism

Call For Papers


One Hundred Years after Fowler

Don Chapman, PhD, and Holly Baker, PhD, editors
Brigham Young University

The year 2026 marks the 100th anniversary of the publication of H. W. Fowler’s A Dictionary of Modern English Usage. Accordingly, we extend a formal call for chapter contributions to an edited collection that we are currently developing for Oxford University Press, provisionally titled One Hundred Years after Fowler, with an anticipated publication date of 2026. This volume will critically examine prescriptive discourse in the century following Fowler with an eye towards Fowler’s influence.

Our current moment of Internet-based reference tools and emerging AI coincides neatly with the centennial anniversary of the first edition of Fowler’s dictionary, inviting us to consider the ways in which prescriptive practice has changed over the last hundred years and how trends in 20th-century prescriptive discourse continue to influence prescriptive practice today. To that end, we invite scholars to consider the ways in which prescriptive practice has changed since the publication of Fowler’s Dictionary. Contributions may relate to Fowler directly, but the real point of this volume is a retrospective on usage guides and prescriptive discourse for the past 100 years while also considering what comes next. Topics may include but are not limited to the following:

• What has been the role of the dictionary-style usage guide in the 20th century? Has that role changed today? How influential were Fowler and his successors on 20th-century prescriptive practices? What comes next?
• How have prescriptive practices changed, especially with regard to the rise of the reference book or how industry professionals rely on or disregard such resources?
• How do we contextualize Fowler’s work, particularly with respect to imperial/postcolonial/globalized English?
• What influence does Fowler have on usage advice in different English varieties, or what tensions exist between them?
• How is Fowler received in ESL and EFL settings today? What local responses have arisen?
• Fowler’s dictionary put a premium on style, and the twentieth century saw the increase of casual English prose style. How have dictionaries adapted? Similarly, how have successors also tried to promote their favored styles?
• What is the role of Fowler in the twenty-first century? How have usage dictionaries fared in the age of the internet, and what is the effect of AI on usage dictionaries?
• What changes have we observed in popular prescriptivism, popular views toward prescriptivism, or the changing attitudes toward language rules?
• What influence has linguistics had on prescriptive discourse? To what degree have usage guides accounted for the empirical records of the past? How has that changed with the advent of corpus linguistics?

Submission Details

Contribution proposals of 500 to 750 words are due by September 15, 2024, in Word or PDF format to Please include a preliminary list of references and 3 to 5 keywords. We will send decisions about proposals by October 1, 2024. We will determine the length of final chapters based on the number of proposals accepted, but we anticipate that they will range from 5,000 to 10,000 words.

Please address any questions to:
Don Chapman, PhD, Brigham Young University (
Holly Baker, PhD, Brigham Young University (

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