Is English usage changing more rapidly than it was before? Judging by the decreasing time between editions of ‘Fowlers’ it would seem so: thirty-nine years between Fowler's Dictionary of Modern English Usage (1926, from here on MEU1) and Gower's second edition (1965, from here on MEU2), and thirty-one years between the latter and Burchfield's The New Fowler's Modern English Usage (1996, from here on NFMEU). This led Manfred Görlach to write in his review of NFMEU that ‘[t]imes change, and we (and usage) change with them. A new edition of Fowler's classic book is thus in order every thirty to forty years’ (Görlach, 1997).
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