My name is Barrie England, and I am an Oxford MA in English Language and Literature, and have the UK Open University’s Diploma in English Language Studies. I am also qualified as a teacher of English to foreign learners, but my main career has been in government service, much of it abroad. I have lived and worked in Lebanon, Kuwait, Greece, Sri Lanka, Switzerland and Tunisia. I have studied French, German, Latin, Greek, Arabic and Old and Middle English.
Elsewhere on the web I have attempted to write in the constrained style of the ‘Ouvroir de littérature potentielle’ (OULIPO) in Variations on an Incident in Paris and in Variations on Jane Austen. I have also created a full set of 256 Syllogisms by figure and mood.
This site is mostly about language. The views expressed are my own, but I have drawn on various sources I have consulted at one time or another. They are likely to be found in the References page under Language Resources. The site’s contents should not be taken as authoritative for any academic purpose.
Under Caxton’s Posts you will find posts, mostly on language, from 2013 and 2014. Grammar Basics offers an introduction to English grammar. Shapers of the Language is a selective history of English through some of those who made it. The Negative Canon is a series of posts on points about which some people feel very strongly, but about which their feelings are mistaken. Selected posts from previous blogs are listed in the Archive. The most important part of this site is perhaps contained under the Language Resources tab, which points readers to more authoritative sources.
The site is named after William Caxton. He changed the way we communicate, by printing the first book in English in 1485. By printing English in his own dialect he began a process which led to what we know today as Standard English. By using technology to reach a wider public, he can be seen as a forerunner of the digital age.