This Language Log post by Geoff Pullum is one of the funniest things I’ve read in a while. Pullum has been making rounds after his article in The Chronicle of Higher Education talking about Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary of the first edition. I’m not a big fan of Elements (although I’ve had at least one writing instructor who was), and neither is Pullum, which has made some people very angry, including a commenter on an NPR story which Pullum was interviewed for on the topic of Strunk and White.
The whole response is brilliant (and you’ve got to be amused by someone who gets so angry at criticism of “proper” grammar but fails to use it herself), but my absolute favorite part is when Pullum responds to the accusation that he merely looked at his “favorite authors” to decry one of the grammatical proscriptions contained in Elements:
Third, I didn’t look at my “favorite authors”. I would rather eat live worms on cold toast than read fin-de-siècle chick lit like Anne of Avonlea.
When people like Pullum have blogs, it makes me feel like the world, at least in a small way, is just.