Guardian or gatekeeper?

The Boston Globe today reviews N. M. Gwynne’s Gwynne’s Grammar: The Ultimate Introduction to Grammar and the Writing of Good English (available for pre-order on Gwynne is a strict traditionalist and prescriptivist—in other words, a “scold”—who holds to the view that it’s been all downhill for English since Shakespeare. I’ve been trying to improve myself withContinue reading “Guardian or gatekeeper?”

Question assumptions? Yes! And assume questions, too

There’s an old expression that to assume makes an ass out of u and me. (The phrasing works even better in the text era). I admit that many of my mistakes come from not checking my own assumptions. Is that what they really want? Is he postponing this week’s meeting, or next week’s? So myContinue reading “Question assumptions? Yes! And assume questions, too”

When the Instructions Are Wrong (Back It Goes)

I got a soundbar for my birthday, to complement our big plasma TV’s little speakers. I did my Web research on soundbars, but couldn’t decide among all the types available, so I went to an electronics store and put my fate in the hands of a salesman. He sold me a brand I hadn’t beenContinue reading “When the Instructions Are Wrong (Back It Goes)”