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that copyeditors need more than a pedestrian understanding of grammar and that what we got in grade school is sorely outdated.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.