[ExI] New Bioscience Company Raises $15 Million to Revive Woolly Mammoth

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Thu Sep 16 22:08:29 UTC 2021

There are no 'rules' in usage.  There is only usage.  A lot of what people
think are rules are not even incorrect usage, such as ending a sentence
with a preposition. Also, nothing wrong with starting a sentence with
'hopefully'.  Some prigs use these supposed violations to lord it over
people and wind up making fun of themselves.  bill w

On Thu, Sep 16, 2021 at 3:49 PM Gabe Waggoner via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> Usage changes over time. Railing against it is silly and futile.
> I know it's futile to seek to change how the masses speak and write; my
> remarks are intended for the minority who aspire to more precision.
> "Read liberally, write conservatively," to paraphrase a computing proverb.
> ------------------------------
> One of my favorite quotes from Bryan Garner, who wrote the grammar chapter
> in* The Chicago Manual of Style*: "In any age, careful users of language
> will make distinctions; careless users will blur them."
> Dictionaries are descriptive (showing how people tend to use language),
> which is one reason they're constantly changing—and why you can find
> "irregardless" and other such nonstandard forms in them, whereas usage
> manuals are prescriptive (analyzing the correctness or lack of same).
> Garner also wrote *Garner's Modern English Usage*, a resource I've relied
> on for years, though I have a love–hate relationship with the man.
> As an editor, I always change "comprised of" to "consists of" or the like.
> The whole comprises the parts, and the parts constitute, compose, or make
> up the whole. I learned at an editing seminar years ago that the etymology
> of the word *comprise* makes the passive-voice use illogical (*com*,
> together, and *prise*, to take up). Also, the French verb *comprendre*,
> which usually means "to understand," also can mean "to include, to consist
> of, to comprise." Garner has a whole page devoted to the issue.
> The same resigned annoyance overtakes me when I see science writers use
> "hone in" instead of the correct "home in" (like a homing
> pigeon)—especially when writers try to justify "hone in" with some
> half-baked logic about how they're trying to "sharpen their meaning." Of
> course, language shifts and standards evolve. But that brings me back to
> the Garner quote. I'm sure many things in grammar and usage that feel
> completely fine to me were once considered horrible violations.
> Gabe
> <O>
> Gabe Waggoner, MS, ELS
> Science Writer–Editor
> 7318 Edmonston Rd.
> College Park, MD 20740-3018
> www.nasw.org/users/rgwaggoner/
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