Professor Simon Horobin

The History of the English Language, especially in the Medieval period. 

Old and Middle English. History of the English Language. Palaeography and the History of the Book.


I have appeared on numerous radio and TV programmes to discuss language issues. Recent appearances include BBC Breakfast TV, BBC Radio 2 Jeremy Vine Show, BBC Radio 4 Stephen Fry's English Delight, BBC Sportshour, NPR Here and Now.

I have been interviewed for various articles appearing in national newspapers:

'Spelling it out: is it time English speakers loosened up?' The Guardian

'Why the comma is heading towards its own full stop' The Times

'Autocorrect allows apostrophe to hang on in there' The Times

General Interest:

'What will the English language be like in 100 years?' The Conversation

'Toilet or Lavatory? How words Britons use betray national obsession with class' The Conversation

'Why do we say "sorry" so much?' The Conversation

'Emojis and ambiguity in the digital medium' OUP Blog

'Do we need the apostrophe?' OUP Blog

'Does Spelling Matter?' OUP Blog

'Battels and subfusc: the Language of Oxford' OUP Blog

'Clues, code-breaking, and cruciverbalists: the language of crosswords' OUP Blog

I have published nuermous articles on the Oxford Words Blog, including:

'Talking Proper: The Language of U and Non-U'

'From teaspoons to tea-sots': The Language of Tea'

Editorial Work

Consultant, Oxford English Dictionary

I also write occasional posts for the Oxford English Dictionary words blog

Member of Advisory board, Index of Middle English Prose

Member of Editorial board, The Yearbook of Langland Studies

Member of Editorial board, The Chaucer Review

Member of Editorial board, Poetica

Honorary Secretary, Society for the Study of Medieval Languages and Literature

Visiting Appointments

I was Charles Owen Visiting Professor at the University of Connecticut in 2011 and Houghton Mifflin Visiting Fellow at the Houghton Library, Harvard University in 2013.


  • A Manuscript Found in the Library of Abbotsford House and the Lost Legendary of Osbern Bokenham

  • A New Approach to Chaucer’s Spelling

  • Compiling the Canterbury Tales in Fifteenth-Century Manuscripts

  • Guest lecturer

  • Invited Speaker

  • More
List of site pages