Last week, I introduced the idea that copyeditors need more than a pedestrian understanding of grammar and that what we got in grade school is sorely outdated. This week, I look at some features of modern grammars and some good resources for catching up with the times.
When I hear a copyeditor quoting a zombie rule, such as “don’t split an infinitive,” I cringe.
Editors are not linguists or lexicographers. Neither, though, are we untrained speakers. We are professional communicators, and as such we should have more than a pedestrian understanding of language and how it works. We can’t rely on what we learned in sixth-grade English class to get by.
Rob Siedenburg has been editing and teaching English for several years, most recently as a university English instructor for ESL students. To celebrate National Grammar Day, Rob tackled our AnaGrammar contest (getting full marks; you have until Wednesday, March 4, 9 p.m. Eastern to submit your own) and agreed to talk grammar and language matters with us.