Thursday, February 21, 2008

Unofficial Rule

There's an unofficial rule online, one that you probably know about but have never put to words:

"Whenever anybody discusses somebody else's grammar or spelling, they will themselves make a spelling or grammar mistake."

It's funny, it's true, and it looks like it's spilling offline. Witness this correction in the New York Times; it is probably the funniest thing I've read today that wasn't McCain saying "I don't listen to lobbyists."
An article in some editions on Monday about a New York City Transit employee’s deft use of the semicolon in a public service placard was less deft in its punctuation of the title of a book by Lynne Truss, who called the placard a “lovely example” of proper punctuation. The title of the book is “Eats, Shoots & Leaves” — not “Eats Shoots & Leaves.” (The subtitle of Ms. Truss’s book is “The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation.”)
They screwed up the punctuation of the title of a book in a story about punctuation! In a book about punctuation mistakes, no less!

I'm amazed they got the correction right.

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