Quirk, Randolph, 1920-2017
by David Crystal FBA and Ruth Kempson FBA
- 08 Apr 2019
- 18 (pages 31-48)
Randolph Quirk, Baron Quirk of Bloomsbury from 1994, was Vice-Chancellor of the University of London (1981–5) and President of the British Academy (1985–9). A specialist in English language studies, he became Professor of English at University College London, where he instituted the Survey of English Usage in 1960, innovative for its focus on spoken as well as written usage, and went on to lead a team of grammarians to produce the two main reference grammars of English in the second half of the twentieth century, A Grammar of Contemporary English (1972) and A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language (1985).