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H. W. Fowler (Henry Watson Fowler) Biography

(1858–1933), (Henry Watson Fowler), Popular Fallacies, Between Boy and Man, The King's English

english dictionary oxford current

English lexicographer and grammarian, born in Tonbridge, Kent, educated at Balliol College, Oxford. After retiring as a schoolmaster on an issue of principle, he wrote literary essays for periodicals, including those collected in Popular Fallacies (1904) and Between Boy and Man (1908). With his brother, Francis George Fowler (18701918), he wrote The King's English (1906), a popular work of grammar and lexicography, and compiled the Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English (1911). The brothers joined the ‘Sportsmen's battalion’ in 1915, but Francis died of consumption before the war ended. Henry Fowler's best-known work, Fowler's Dictionary of Modern English Usage (1926), had been planned with his brother. The entries are short, occasionally idiosyncratic, essays illustrating the correct and incorrect usage of familiar words. He also compiled the Pocket Oxford Dictionary of Current English (1924). See Robert Burchfield, The Fowlers: Their Achievements in Lexicography and Grammar (1979).

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