Grammar tip sheets: A ‘repetitive mishmash of misinformation’

That’s what one writer and editor thinks, at least. Plus, the rise of ‘meh’ and more in this edition of the Week in Writing.

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Maybe the people writing those columns need a fact checker. After all, where would writers be without quality fact-checkers? Pretty far, if you believe John D’Agata, author of “The Lifespan of a Fact,” a book published this week about the push and pull between a writer and his fact-checker.

We cover these topics, plus the rise of “meh,” happy birthday, Dr. Seuss, the Microsoft manual of style, and more, in the Week in Writing.

These aren’t grammar mistakes. According to Macmillan Dictionary writer and editor Stan Carey, the Web is awash with lists of grammatical tips that have nothing at all to do with grammar. In a piece on his Sentence First blog, he writes that there exists “a dispiriting and repetitive mishmash of misinformation, superstitions, anachronisms, and trivial, one-dimensional advice about spelling and style” that purport to be about grammar. Carey exhaustively illustrates this point through several examples from some prominent writing and language blogs. Read the piece here.

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