Well-documented that MRP thinks that good language skills are important. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be spending my time writing about said language skills or making a living at fixing up the mistakes others make employing them. But I don’t really share the view that every misplaced comma, dangling modifier, or use of the singular their is a harbinger of the coming of the Four Proofreaders of the Apostrophocalypse.
So I was interested to read Jan Freeman’s most recent column, “What, me worry? English isn’t getting any dumber.” She writes:
Did someone just die and make me head of the English Protection Society, chief doctor on the language ward, Wonder Woman of words? For some reason, my inbox is suddenly bulging with demands and pleas for me to use my superpowers wisely.
“Don’t give up the fight against dumbing down the language,” urges one reader. “Stop trying to justify this modern wave of (mis)-usage by citing some obscure 18th-century reference,” says another. “Please don’t add to the dumbing down of our society by saying we’ll all just get used to it,” echoes a third.
Who, me? I’m not fighting, and I’m not justifying; in the cases that provoked these comments, I was looking at the evolution of so fun, the logic behind one of the only, and the possible reasons for a confusion between cue and queue. Interesting stories all, I thought, and unlikely to dummify anyone.
Read the whole column. And if you see the Antichrist, tell him the typo went thataway.