Landing : Athabascau University

Pullum, Geoffrey K. "50 Years of Stupid Grammar Advice" (re: Strunk & White)

What I am objecting to is not the style advice in Elements, which might best be described the way The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy describes Earth: mostly harmless. [...] But despite the "Style" in the title, much in the book relates to grammar, and the advice on that topic does real damage. It is atrocious.


  • I feel so sad that someone does not like 'that' with restrictive relative clauses. It suits my taste so well. On the other hand, my brush with linguistics (I remember Geoffrey Pullum as a rock star in the field--it was a big thrill to see him live back in the day) has convinced me that what we call style is mostly folk text grammar/discourse analysis. To me, Strunk & White are to grammar what Oscar Wilde is to sociology--pithy and fun, and completely unscientific. (Although I would guess that Wilde's amateur observations about us as social beings are more accurate than Strunk & White's about grammar.)

    Mary Pringle August 18, 2011 - 11:40am

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