Surrounded. Please send help

March 23, 2014|By John E. McIntyre | The Baltimore Sun

Every time there is a discussion about some detail of usage, particularly the sham ones, new "rules" and distinctions turn up that one has never ever heard of before. 

In the dust-up over over/more than at LinkedIn (I have got to stop going back to that place), where the Chicago Manual of Style has been determined to be infected with permissivism, we find this comment:

As many organizations do, we integrate CMoS with established in-house usage rules, and we use it in combination with other authorities. Based on its stance on "over" vs. "more than" in conjunction with's secondary (at best) recognition of this usage of "over," it could not be a first choice by us. We would be able to argue for using it in some situations. In other organizations, or in working for their particular clients, some editors who prefer to use "over" in this manner might be disappointed by CMoS's ambivalent guidance.

 This was my response: 

I wish people understood how to use a dictionary. A second listed sense is not a "secondary" meaning but an additional sense. It might be one that developed later than the first, or it may be somewhat less frequently encountered than the first; but unless it is accompanied with a notation that it is colloquial or technical or in some other sense specialized, it is in fact a standard usage. And if you don't believe me, ask a lexicographer or read the damned front matter in your own copy.

I understand that many people would prefer to have strict rules to follow, but if you are uncomfortable with arriving at judgments, then perhaps editing wasn't the best career move. 

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