Founding Grammars:
How Early America's War over Words Shaped Today's Language

• due May 2015 from St. Martin's Press •


"A fanfare for the common word, a welcome reminder that American English is a language of the people, by the people, and for the people."
–Patricia T. O'Conner, author of Woe Is I and coauthor of Origins of the Specious

"Well-researched and entertaining exploration of who once called the shots in American usage, and why."
–Charles Harrington Elster, author of Word Workout and The Accidents of Style

"A good writer, upon hearing a language rule, wants to know 'who says?' Rosemarie Ostler tells us who."
–Robert Lane Greene, language writer for The Economist and author of You Are What You Speak: Grammar Grouches, Language Laws and the Politics of Identity

"[Shows] that grammar-pusses have been with us for centuries now while English has kept on keeping on."
–John McWhorter, author of The Power of Babel, Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue, and What Language Is

"Enlightening narrative of American bickering over language."
–David Skinner, author of The Story of Ain't: America, Its Language, and the Most Controversial Dictionary Ever Published