Journal: News & Comment

Thursday, July 13, 2006
# 12:28:00 PM:

Burn the pedants!

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In my early days of becoming a writer and editor, when I was old enough to be skilled but too young to be wise, I delighted in correcting people's errors, reveling in my knowledge of how to use "presently" and how not to split an infinitive. But much of the time I was wrong: language is a living thing, reflecting how people use it. Many of the "errors" I corrected simply aren't.

Still, there are reasons many rules exist, and they're worth sticking with for clarity and meaning. It's a sometimes-delicate balance to strike—and why I still find wordsmithing fun.


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