Tuesday, November 28, 2006


"I am thinking of what I call Style-mongers. On taking up a book, these people concentrate on what they call its ‘style’ or its ‘English’. They judge this neither by its sound nor by its power to communicate but by its conformity to certain arbitrary rules. Their reading is a perpetual witch hunt for Americanisms, Gallicisms, split infinitives, and sentences that end with a preposition. They do not inquire whether the Americanism or Gallicism in question increases or impoverishes the expressiveness of our language. It is nothing to them that the best English speakers and writers have been ending sentences with prepositions for over a thousand years" (C.S. Lewis, An Experiment in Criticism, p. 35).

(HT: Doug Wilson)

By the way, if you are an editor--or just happen to hate editors--you may be interested in reading Thomas Sowell's blistering essay entitled Some Thoughts on Writing. I'm just thankful I can enjoy Sowell's writings without editing them!