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Grant number like: FT-53274-05

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Edwin L. Battistella
Southern Oregon University (Ashland, OR 97520-5001)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

[Grant products][Media coverage]

$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2006 – 8/31/2006

Sherwin Cody and the American Language in the Early 20th Century

This proposal requests support to research a book titled SHERWIN CODY AND THE AMERICAN LANGUAGE. The book will examine a famous early 20th century correspondence grammar course and the entrepreneur behind it. Sherwin Cody's advertisement asking "Do you make these mistakes in English?" ran continuously for 40 years at a time when many Americans were focused on self-improvement and workplace skills. In telling the story of Cody's 100% Self-Correcting English Course, my project investigates attitudes toward language and the mass marketing of cultural self-improvement. It examines as well the evolution of spoken language style and the connection between language choice, cultural propriety and economic advancement.