I don't understand the backlash against Lynne Truss (author of Eats, Shoots & Leaves
, a book that I haven't yet read but hope to do so, today). Despite her book being a best-seller, editors, columnists, linguists, etc seem to enjoy taking shots at her. Sure, I get it -- if you set yourself up as the guardian of punctuation, word usage, etc. then you also better make damn sure that you never make a mistake. Nobody's perfect, and if she (like every single one of us) makes mistakes, then whoop-de-do, she made a mistake. Maybe it's her attitude that people don't like, but I've got the same one -- learn the basic rules of your own language (at least). If you make a mistake, correct it. Try not to make it again.
Anyway, via Language Log
I was directed to her opinion piece in The Daily Telegraph
, " You pour thing, if you don't see the point of spelling correctly
". It's a great piece, in my opinion, and I especially like this: "The argument goes that the spelling of English words is, by and large, 'irrational'. Why is there a silent 'p' in 'receipt' and not in 'deceit'? Well, the quick answer is: life's a pain sometimes; stop whining; if you don't like it, go and speak German." Ha!