Though it sometimes causes headaches, copyeditors need a little language theory now and again to keep up with changes. In today’s News Roundup: why you can keep the reason why, the problem with the phrase “correct grammar,” and the fallacy of those ultraconserved words.
Most weeks on Copyediting we feature an “Error of the Week,” which is usually a howler that an editor caught out in the wild or a common error that we tracked down for illustrative purposes. To stay sharp, writers and editors both need occasional reminders and cues about what to fix and how to fix it, and we’ll be returning to that general program soon.
As copyeditors, we have definite opinions about language usage. We’d do well to remember what’s opinion and what’s a rule, John McIntyre reminds us. Still, there are rules we can follow, as our second and third stories demonstrate.