I’m Jonathon Owen, a linguist, editor, writer, and book designer who recently graduated with a master’s degree in linguistics from Brigham Young University. As an editor and linguist, I have been called both a grammar nazi and a “grammar anarchist free-love person.” The truth, of course, is somewhere in the middle.
The name of this site comes from one version of a quote often attributed to Winston Churchill. The story goes that a bumbling editor once awkwardly rearranged one of Churchill’s sentences to avoid ending a sentence with a preposition. Churchill responded with an angry but clever marginal note: “This is the type of arrant pedantry up with which I will not put.” The story is bogus, unfortunately, and you can find variations of the purported quote here and a debunking by Ben Zimmer here.
But while the story is untrue, like most popular myths, it still communicates something true: sometimes the rules are wrong and can lead one astray. I think it’s time for more common sense and facts to permeate the usage wars. This is where I blog about editing, usage, prescriptivism and descriptivism, and other language issues. I also sell t-shirts over here.