Here's an appropriately dorky topic for today's Brane blog. Evidently, the famous and even beloved bible of the grammar police, The Elements of Style, turned fifty today (roughly). Originally written by Strunk circa the Great War-era and much later reworked by his student E.B. (Charlotte's Web) White, this little style guide has been a bossy mainstay of the academy and the cudgel of copy-editors for decades.
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Thursday, April 16, 2009
During my college days, I found it utterly tiresome and have to confess that I have never been able to find the kernel of its English-major appeal anywhere in it. So I was delighted today when NPR's Talk of the Nation interviewed linguist Geoffrey Pullum whose new article "50 Years of Stupid Grammar Advice" is available from The Chronicle of Higher Education. It was refreshing to finally hear someone debunk the notion that a split infinitive is some sort of cardinal syntactical sin and to finally explain to me why the hell the grammar check in Word wants me to change every single "which" to "that."Related Articles :