Thursday, June 08, 2006

Slamming a language slammer


Don't raise the ire of the people at the Language Log, especially Geoffrey K. Pullum.

The bottom line here is that people who are clueless about English grammar shouldn't be trying to humiliate others over grammar for political advantage. Those who feel grammar correction is something they want to discuss in the media should do just a little bit of work to prepare themselves for their calling. Not knowing a preterite from a participle or a clause from a phrase is like not knowing how to add small integers.

That's why I try to keep my criticisms to the obvious. If I'm unsure about why a piece of writing looks wrong, I usually keep my mouth shut to avoid putting a Reebok in it. And I almost never ridicule typos. They're pretty easy to identify, and I know they stem from a slip of the finger, not from a lack of learning. Though sometimes they are pretty funny.

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