Tag: Geoffrey Pullum

December 24, 2012

Relative Pronoun Redux

A couple of weeks ago, Geoff Pullum wrote on Lingua Franca about the that/which rule, which he calls “a rule which will live in infamy”. (For my own previous posts on the subject, see here, here, and here.) He runs through the whole gamut of objections to the rule—that the rule is an invention, that […]

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Descriptivism, Grammar, Prescriptivism, Usage 16 Replies to “Relative Pronoun Redux”
December 10, 2012

Completion Successful

The other day I added some funds to my student card and saw a familiar message: “Your Deposit Completed Successfully!” I’ve seen the similar message “Completion successful” on gas pumps after I finish pumping gas. These messages seem perfectly ordinary at first glance, but the more I thought about them, the more I realized how […]

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Semantics 10 Replies to “Completion Successful”
August 2, 2011

Who, That, and the Nature of Bad Rules

A couple of weeks ago the venerable John E. McIntyre blogged about a familiar prescriptive bugbear, the question of that versus who(m). It all started on the blog of the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar, where a Professor Jacoby, a college English professor, wrote in to share his justification for the rule, which […]

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Prescriptivism, Usage 10 Replies to “Who, That, and the Nature of Bad Rules”
January 27, 2009

Do You Agree That We Ask for Your Consent?

I just finished filing my federal taxes with H&R Block’s free e-filing (which I highly recommend, by the way), and at the end I encountered some rather confusing language. After submitting my return, I came to a page asking if I consented to let H&R Block use my information for marketing purposes. (I always wonder […]

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Semantics 5 Replies to “Do You Agree That We Ask for Your Consent?”
January 2, 2007

Editing Chicago

Those who have worked with me before may remember that I was once nicknamed “The Index to The Chicago Manual of Style” (or just “The Index” for short) because I always knew where to find everything that anyone needed to look up. I’ve always been a fan of the big orange book. It is so […]

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Editing, Grammar, Rants 7 Replies to “Editing Chicago”
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