16 April 2009

"A Half-Century of 'Stupid Grammar Advice'"

UPDATE: Pullum provides (a whole lot) more here. To be honest, I am insufficiently suited to appraise it all.

I was just sending an email to the grammarians in my life when I figured, what the hell, why not share with everyone?

[Dear Friends,]

Heard this on NPR today and thought of all of you grammarians in my life. Really an interesting look at the evolution--and convolution--of modern grammar rules. At 17 minutes you'll need more time than your average YouTube clip but less time than a bad sitcom to hear the interview in total. General verdict? Strunk and White were very good on style, but mangled the patterns of usage, absolutely. (Listen for a defense of the split infinitive!)

Hope all the writers, editors, and teachers out there are still as engaged as ever with the mechanics of our language.