Carol Percy

Professor; Graduate Faculty; Undergraduate Instructor
Jackman Humanities Building, Room 732, 170 St. George Street, Toronto, ON M5R 2M8 (Office Hours: Please email to set up an appointment, ideally suggesting three blocks of time/days that work for you. Thank you.)


Fields of Study


I teach courses in both English language (history & diaspora) and literature (18th-century), reflecting my research on eighteenth-century language and education. While my earliest work used Captain James Cook's language to explore the connections between editorial corrections and grammatical prescription, I am at work on an interdisciplinary monograph surveying women's roles in the cultural origins, functions, and effects of normative linguistics. My work on the investment in prescriptivism of authors, editors, publishers, book reviewers, educators, King George III, Thomas Jefferson and of course grammarians has appeared in journals including Age of Johnson, English Language and Linguistics, and Women's Writing, and in such essay collections as Educating the Child in Enlightenment Britain: Beliefs, Cultures, Practices (Ashgate, 2009), Eighteenth-century English: Ideology and Change (Cambridge UP, 2010), and The Oxford Handbook of the History of English (2012). Reflecting my roles in the organization of conferences on prescriptivism, I am also the co-editor of Languages of Nation: Attitudes and Norms (2012) and Prescription and Tradition in Language (2017). Reflecting my support of student research, I am the editor of The English Languages: History, Diaspora, Culture. For a full list of publications, please see my personal website.


BA, University of Toronto
MA, University of Toronto
DPhil, University of Oxford