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By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | August 6, 2012
Though dead, they walk among us. They infest schoolrooms and creep into universities. The Internet swarms with them. They lurk in your workplaces. They are what Arnold Zwicky calls zombie rules, "rules" that have no foundation in English grammar and usage, superstitions and shibboleths of usage addressed currently by Bryan Garner, in the 1970s by Theodore Bernstein, and in 1926 by H.W. Fowler. Fowler! Eighty-six years ago! They have been exposed and exploded over and over for decades, and they keep coming back . On September 20  I will make my attempt to finish them off, in an audio conference sponsored by Copyediting . Ninety minutes of blasting away at them and taking your questions and comments.
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NEWS
By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | October 3, 2014
Online, discussions of grammar tend to display confusion about what the subject is, and the usual admixture of rubbish and emotion does not help. There is, of course, the confusion between grammar as grammarians and linguists discuss it technically, and spelling and punctuation. But other, unstated meanings are often involved. A post by Lucy Ferriss at Lingua Franca , "Grammar: The Movie,"  identifies some of the additional meanings that surface in a new documentary.
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NEWS
By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | March 20, 2013
If you are a native speaker of English, you have English grammar in your head, and it has been there since you were a very small child. Unfortunately, the process of translating that grammar into terms for discussion of writing has not gone well. Traditional schoolroom grammar borrowed terms from Latin that were not always a good fit with English, and it codified English grammar into a rigid set of rules (some of them bogus) that oversimplified the language for pedagogical purposes.
NEWS
By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | September 26, 2014
Let me direct you. Item:  The dear old subjunctive, once so vigorous in Anglo-Saxon, has experienced a long wasting disease in English.  At The Economist 's Prospero ,  Robert Lane Greene points out that the subjunctive (a) can get misused because it is so similar to the indicative and (b) tends to be shunned because it sounds so formal and stuffy.  He concludes: " Pity the poor subjunctive, hanging out with  whom  as dowdy old contestants on the reality show of English grammar, both wondering which will be voted off by English-speakers first.
NEWS
October 27, 1991
Two adjunct educators at Carroll Community College became full-time faculty members this semester:* Linda A. Gilmore of Hampstead hastaught reading and English skills at CCC since 1988 as an adjunct instructor. For her Reading 091 and 101 classes, she devised instructional techniques to increase the critical reading and thinking skills of students.She also taught reading and English modules of the Clerical Training Program for the college's Office of Continuing Education/Community Services; English Grammar Review; SAT Preparation; Contemporary Issues; and The Twentieth Century.
NEWS
By McClatchy News Service | April 19, 1991
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Juvenile offenders overseen by the California Youth Authority who exercise their right to file a complaint with the director will get it returned in the future unless the writing conforms to the rules of English grammar and spelling."
NEWS
January 17, 2012
It was, if recollection is accurate, in the fifth grade that I got my first thoroughgoing instruction in English grammar and usage. My fifth- and sixth-grade English teacher, Mrs. Jessie Perkins, and my seventh- and eighth-grade English teacher, Mrs. Elizabeth Craig, redoubtable women both, took the same attitude toward English that Miss Prism took toward Fiction: The good end happily and the bad unhappily. There are Rules, they are known, they are to be applied universally, and violators pay a price.
NEWS
By John McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | December 7, 2013
Pray consider this sentence from one of Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe murder mysteries: "Everyone has something they don't want anyone to see; that is one of the functions of a home, to provide a spot to keep such things. "  I offer it not as a response to the specious argument that if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear from the National Security Agency's surveillance,* but rather to consider it as further evidence for singular they . To my mind, it carries more weight than Jane Austen's every body ... they .  The first reason is that it appears in The Red Box , published in 1936.
NEWS
By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | October 3, 2014
Online, discussions of grammar tend to display confusion about what the subject is, and the usual admixture of rubbish and emotion does not help. There is, of course, the confusion between grammar as grammarians and linguists discuss it technically, and spelling and punctuation. But other, unstated meanings are often involved. A post by Lucy Ferriss at Lingua Franca , "Grammar: The Movie,"  identifies some of the additional meanings that surface in a new documentary.
NEWS
By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | April 2, 2014
Write about language, as about climate change or evolution, and what do you get? A strident chorus of denial. I wonder why. Last week Tom Chivers wrote about English grammar at The Telegraph , patiently explaining why a good deal of what has been taught about grammar is unsound and what linguists, Geoffrey Pullum in particular, have discovered in examining how we speak and write. ( "Are grammar Nazis ruining the English language?" was an unfortunate headline, overstating the case and using the inflammatory Nazi , but we'll pass on.)
NEWS
By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | April 2, 2014
Write about language, as about climate change or evolution, and what do you get? A strident chorus of denial. I wonder why. Last week Tom Chivers wrote about English grammar at The Telegraph , patiently explaining why a good deal of what has been taught about grammar is unsound and what linguists, Geoffrey Pullum in particular, have discovered in examining how we speak and write. ( "Are grammar Nazis ruining the English language?" was an unfortunate headline, overstating the case and using the inflammatory Nazi , but we'll pass on.)
NEWS
By John McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | December 7, 2013
Pray consider this sentence from one of Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe murder mysteries: "Everyone has something they don't want anyone to see; that is one of the functions of a home, to provide a spot to keep such things. "  I offer it not as a response to the specious argument that if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear from the National Security Agency's surveillance,* but rather to consider it as further evidence for singular they . To my mind, it carries more weight than Jane Austen's every body ... they .  The first reason is that it appears in The Red Box , published in 1936.
NEWS
By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | March 20, 2013
If you are a native speaker of English, you have English grammar in your head, and it has been there since you were a very small child. Unfortunately, the process of translating that grammar into terms for discussion of writing has not gone well. Traditional schoolroom grammar borrowed terms from Latin that were not always a good fit with English, and it codified English grammar into a rigid set of rules (some of them bogus) that oversimplified the language for pedagogical purposes.
NEWS
By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | August 6, 2012
Though dead, they walk among us. They infest schoolrooms and creep into universities. The Internet swarms with them. They lurk in your workplaces. They are what Arnold Zwicky calls zombie rules, "rules" that have no foundation in English grammar and usage, superstitions and shibboleths of usage addressed currently by Bryan Garner, in the 1970s by Theodore Bernstein, and in 1926 by H.W. Fowler. Fowler! Eighty-six years ago! They have been exposed and exploded over and over for decades, and they keep coming back . On September 20  I will make my attempt to finish them off, in an audio conference sponsored by Copyediting . Ninety minutes of blasting away at them and taking your questions and comments.
NEWS
February 4, 2012
A few days ago, when I seconded Kory Stamper's indisputable tweet that irregardless is a word,* @kellizuzelka replied " 'irregardless' doesn't even make sense ('ir-' cancels out 'less' and you have some awful double-negative nonsense). " And @soixante10 replied, "by what criterion 'irregardless' a word? Other than pple use. " Let me take these responses one at a time. The response that irregardless is illogical won't stand up, because logic does not govern language.
NEWS
January 17, 2012
It was, if recollection is accurate, in the fifth grade that I got my first thoroughgoing instruction in English grammar and usage. My fifth- and sixth-grade English teacher, Mrs. Jessie Perkins, and my seventh- and eighth-grade English teacher, Mrs. Elizabeth Craig, redoubtable women both, took the same attitude toward English that Miss Prism took toward Fiction: The good end happily and the bad unhappily. There are Rules, they are known, they are to be applied universally, and violators pay a price.
NEWS
By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | September 26, 2014
Let me direct you. Item:  The dear old subjunctive, once so vigorous in Anglo-Saxon, has experienced a long wasting disease in English.  At The Economist 's Prospero ,  Robert Lane Greene points out that the subjunctive (a) can get misused because it is so similar to the indicative and (b) tends to be shunned because it sounds so formal and stuffy.  He concludes: " Pity the poor subjunctive, hanging out with  whom  as dowdy old contestants on the reality show of English grammar, both wondering which will be voted off by English-speakers first.
NEWS
February 4, 2012
A few days ago, when I seconded Kory Stamper's indisputable tweet that irregardless is a word,* @kellizuzelka replied " 'irregardless' doesn't even make sense ('ir-' cancels out 'less' and you have some awful double-negative nonsense). " And @soixante10 replied, "by what criterion 'irregardless' a word? Other than pple use. " Let me take these responses one at a time. The response that irregardless is illogical won't stand up, because logic does not govern language.
NEWS
October 27, 1991
Two adjunct educators at Carroll Community College became full-time faculty members this semester:* Linda A. Gilmore of Hampstead hastaught reading and English skills at CCC since 1988 as an adjunct instructor. For her Reading 091 and 101 classes, she devised instructional techniques to increase the critical reading and thinking skills of students.She also taught reading and English modules of the Clerical Training Program for the college's Office of Continuing Education/Community Services; English Grammar Review; SAT Preparation; Contemporary Issues; and The Twentieth Century.
NEWS
By McClatchy News Service | April 19, 1991
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Juvenile offenders overseen by the California Youth Authority who exercise their right to file a complaint with the director will get it returned in the future unless the writing conforms to the rules of English grammar and spelling."
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