Monday, April 17, 2006

Conan the Grammarian

You heard it here second. The latest issue of Verbatim: The Language Quarterly has an article by the famous linguist Richard Lederer, who takes down two grammar rules that have always twisted our knickers in a bunch.

No reputable grammar book, he writes, prohibits splitting infinitives* or ending sentences with prepositions.

We are very pleased to report those are the same two bogus grammar rules we called out to Stanford Magazine, which will feature SPOGG in its May/June issue.

That said, our eyebrows did shoot up just a bit when Verbatim reminded us to keep our subscription "up-to-date."

The hyphens there were unnecessary, because up to date came after the word "subscription." Had it come before, it would have been another story.

We still love Verbatim, though.

* An infinitive is a "to blank" verb form. Some people think you're not supposed to insert a word between to and the verb -- but that would prevent such memorable lines as "to boldly go where no man has gone before." And that just seems wrong.

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