John McIntyre, whom James Wolcott calls "the Dave Brubeck of the art and craft of copy editing," writes on language, editing, journalism, and other manifestations of human frailty. Comments welcome. Identifying his errors relieves him of the burden of omniscience. Write to email@example.com, befriend at Facebook, or follow at Twitter: @johnemcintyre. Back 2009-2012 at the original site, http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/mcintyre/blog/ and now at www.baltimoresun.com/news/language-blog/.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Pedantic, but pragmatic
Mr. Kamm, whose column is called “The Pedant,” announces that he hopes to rescue pedantry, “an obsession with linguistic precision” that “prizes form over style” from its negative connotations. His sense of pedantry is “an insistence on reasonable accuracy,” a pragmatic pedantry.
To do this he is willing to heave over the side such dubious cargo as the prohibitions against splitting infinitives and ending sentences with prepositions. It is a promising start. He will bear watching.