The Aitch Factor
The Aitch Factor - Susan Butler


Format: Hardback
Pub date: 01/08/2014
Category: Language / Language: reference & general
Imprint: Macmillan Australia
Pages: 300
Price: $24.99

Living languages change all the time, but many of us wish they didn't.

For thirty years, Macquarie Dictionary editor Susan Butler has been in the front row watching Australians alternatively defend, reject, embrace and argue heatedly about every aspect of language usage. She has witnessed crusades against 'youse', ducked the missiles over the phrase 'man boobs', pondered the changing pronunciation of 'Beijing', recorded - controversially - the evolving meaning of 'misogyny' and wondered why on earth we still cling to the grammarian's flourish known as the apostrophe.

Drawing on her own depth of experience, community consultation and the odd letter of outrage, Butler chronicles her unique adventures with the wonderfully malleable but strangely resilient beast known as the English language, and pays particular attention to the way Australians have trained it to fit their circumstances.

Entertaining, insightful and occasionally irreverent, The Aitch Factor is the perfect book for word warriors, punctuation pedants and everyday lovers of language.


Susan Butler is the Editor of the Macquarie Dictionary, Australia's national dictionary, and, as Editor, is largely responsible for the selection and writing of new words. She has been Publisher since the early 80s. In late 2013 the Sixth Edition of the dictionary was published, with a revised and updated range of dictionaries in print, online and in digital and app forms. When one edition is published she immediately begins the next, so work has begun on the Seventh Edition.

Susan has written the Dinkum Dictionary, published in its third edition in 2009. She is also a regular commentator on Australian English on radio, television and the internet.