50 Years of Stupid Grammar Advice

Wow! I hadn’t seen this old 2009 article where The Chronicle of Higher Education takes on The Elements of Style:

April 16 is the 50th anniversary of the publication of a little book that is loved and admired throughout American academe. Celebrations, readings, and toasts are being held, and a commemorative edition has been released.

I won’t be celebrating.

The Elements of Style does not deserve the enormous esteem in which it is held by American college graduates. Its advice ranges from limp platitudes to inconsistent nonsense. Its enormous influence has not improved American students’ grasp of English grammar; it has significantly degraded it.

It goes on, at the link.

Copyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 James Ament

2 thoughts on “50 Years of Stupid Grammar Advice

  1. I remember the article. Do American college graduates hold it in enormous esteem? I have a copy somewhere around the house, but have never tried to read through it; I’m not sure whether it is one that I purchased, or whether I ended up with it through the accidents of moving. I did recently hear a co-worker cite a rule that likely comes from S&W (Jones’s, not Jones’). But I bet that if I polled the half dozen or so acquaintances whose work involves writing, they would be at best lukewarm about the the book.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>