The Lexicographer's Dilemma: The Evolution of 'Proper' English, from Shakespeare to South Park : In its long history, the English language has had many lawmakers - those who have tried to regulate or otherwise organize the way we speak. The Lexicographer's Dilemma poses a pair of questions - what does proper English mean, and who gets to say what's right? Our ideas of correct or proper English have a history, and today's debates over the state of the language - whether about Ebonics in schools, the unique use of language in a South Park episode, or split infinitives in the Times - make sense only in historical context. As historian Jack Lynch has discovered, every rule has a human history, and the characters who populate his narrative are as interesting for their obsessions as for their erudition. Charting the evolution of English with wit and intelligence, he provides a rich historical perspective that makes us appreciate a new the hard-won standards we now enjoy. NOTE: This is a Scratch and Dent book and may have noticeable dents, scratches and various other cosmetic issues as well as torn or missing dust jacket. These items are only guaranteed to be structurally complete and readable and therefore are sold as is.