Grammar and the Grammar Police

[This post was originally titled Grammar and the Great White Males. This offended some of the people it referred to. I think they are right. Hence the new title] The Grammar Police keep on picking me up when I discuss good grammar, spelling and punctuation, saying things like “I thought you said grammar doesn’t matter.” I … Continue reading Grammar and the Grammar Police

How (not) to be an asshole

My dictionary suggests that asshole means a stupid or vulgar person. But that doesn't capture the current usage. An asshole is a person who puts their own interests ahead of the people around them. Assholes push into queues, threaten you if you call them out, perv on vulnerable people, take up three seats on a … Continue reading How (not) to be an asshole

A letter to a would-be King Cnut of language

Dear Dominic You and I got into a discussion about the abuse of the word literally. I suggested that you look at something I wrote about learning language by osmosis. Language is what people speak, I suggested, not what the rules say. You didn't see it that way. You made an analogy with shopping: [...] … Continue reading A letter to a would-be King Cnut of language