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07/27/2017

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sean martin

It *will* be interesting to see how Congress deals with this ancien enfant-terrible, particularly with mid-terms coming up. The most likely scenario, to me anyway, is sometime soon, say around November, they'll start impeachment proceedings, with lots of media face time about how none of them "really felt he was a good leader" and "the country would be better off without him". Then Pence will move up, the true conservative the Far Unhinged Right can gather around, and suddenly Congress will pass all manner of short-term bills specifically designed to make them look wonderful in the eyes of the 30% who loved Cheeto and maybe even make them look good in the eyes of Just Enough More to squeak through the election.

Brian Fies

I have identical twin girls whom I occasionally called by the wrong name. The twist is that I tried to play it off as the typical parental brain-fart you describe, when in fact in the moment I actually couldn't tell them apart. They didn't always buy it.

One of the rules of publishing is that after all your book drafts have been reviewed by armies of editors and read literally a hundred times by trained pros, the first thing you'll see when you get the final published book in your hands and crack it open will be a typo. It happens.

One of my problems with pedants is they don't allow for differences in audience and intent. I write differently online than I do for publication, and even for publication I write differently for general and technical readers. In my informal writing I sometimes use "gonna" or "ain't" knowing full well they're incorrect but set a tone I want. They convey a voice I'd never use in a book or magazine article. Or I might have a character say something ungrammatical because it's right for that character to say it wrong. Competent writers know how to switch between picnic and banquet manners. Pedants are locked on "state dinner with the Queen."

Plus, as you point out, much of the time they're flat wrong. And thanks again for bringing me around on the singular "they," although I still avoid it when I can.

I never correct anyone's English online. First, just as on the Internet nobody knows if you're a dog, I don't assume English is everyone's first language. Second, it misses the point and derails the conversation. Third, it's rude.

That said, you left "...the odds of anyone being mislead" as a test, right? I fear I failed.

parnellnelson

Thanks for posting "Bow Tie Daddy." It's been one of my anthems since the Seventies. And now I am going to go break out my "ZAPPA FOR PRESIDENT" T-shirt from 1976 because I believe that, even in his present condition, Frank can do a better job than the current occupant.

phred

I have to admit that people who can't distinguish between its and it's sets my teeth on edge, especially when it's WRITTEN IN THE NEW YORK TIMES!!!

Sorry...deep breaths...happy thoughts...

Mike Peterson

Pretty sure you meant "set my teeth on edge."

David

People "set" indeed!

I had some proofing done today and the reader was so proficient as to point out the one spot where I inconsistently did not apply an Oxford comma. It was a case where all three items stood separately and the last two were not a pair.

I'm wondering if @realdonaldtrump is being archived as required by law? I also wonder when the rules will be changed so that Executive Orders may be originated and transmitted by a Twitter user.

phred

Probably too late for anyone to see this, but yes, I did mean "set." My proofreader is on vacation, or something like that.

Rogers George

Mike, I hope you'll be pleased that this post stimulated me to mention you in my grammar blog, writing-rag.com. Full credit, of course. It'll appear on Aug 12. (I'm a faithful reader and have mentioned you occasionally in the past, with credit, but haven't necessarily mentioned it to you directly. But I figure this time I should.)

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