13. Sherwin Cody's school of English

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In this chapter Sherwin Cody’s well-known correspondence course is analyzed within a historical context and according to the norms of the early part of the 20th century. Details of the course are summarized, and several notable examples are given concerning the prescriptive rules for pronunciation, practical grammar, and grammatical correctness. The course itself and aspects of the successful marketing campaign are discussed. Cody’s prescriptivist and descriptivist approaches are evaluated according to early 20th-century society; it is argued that Cody’s course was influenced by several, sometimes opposing, factors. The views of language experts of the day, including educators and linguists, are taken into account.


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