Caffeine is a beautiful thing. Of course, it takes longer to do its magic on days when I have a slight flu bug and am waffling between being sick and being fine. (Strangely, I feel sick when I’m sitting up to do copy editing, but just fine when I’m lying down reading.)
Still, in the clearer light of a coffee-fueled day, I noticed that my previous post failed to recognize that a number of important names are missing from or underplayed on the NY Times’s grammar page:
Steven Pinker -- As far as I can tell, the first guy to identify the creature called the Grammar Puss.
The guys over at LanguageLog, including Geoffrey Pullum, Mark Liberman and Benjamin Zimmer.
From what I can tell, Zimmer is the guy who figured out that the Churchill quotation probably isn’t Churchill’s. Pullum and Liberman, as far as I can tell, have been pointing out the absurdity of extreme grammar grousing far longer than I have (and far more convincingly).
These guys are serious scholars and real pioneering thinkers in the grammar game. I guess that if Zimmer and Liberman aren’t in there, and Pullum and Pinker only get one buried reference each, I was being a little childish in my previous (groggy and sneezing/sniffling) post.
Now if only I could get over that April business …