Category : Grammar and Usage

White Writing

I  finished reading some time back, after several weeks because a collection of letters lends itself to being consumed in many small bites, Letters of E. B. White, Revised Edition (HarperCollins, 2006).  And I’m going to be a better writer for it, which would, I believe, have pleased White, who…

Go Ahead. Do It. Split It!

We all remember that adamant injunction from our school days: “Never split an infinitive.” I’ve read that this rule comes from the prescriptive pedants who were brought up on Latin. In Latin, of course, you can’t split an infinitive . . . because it’s one word. But we’re not ancient…

In Memoriam – For My Old Friend the Colon Who Has Passed and Been Supplanted by a Redundant Imposter

Two elegant little dots, one poised precariously over the other, suspended and balanced and slightly portentous, together pleasingly symmetrical, ready to birth the following illustration or expansion: that’s my old friend the colon. But she’s gone now. And now – now – in her place is that horizontally harsh dash –…