Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Neglect the Rules

I've been tweeting about grammar points and following a discussion via @StanCarey on Twitter and at his excellent website called, Alice / Carroll fans, "Sentence First":
about apparent misuse in published novels of "who's" for "whose". I just commented that even the great Jane Austen could be accused of misuse of apostrophes (eg it's, their's) and indeed of poor grammar at times ( eg "those sort of people"). Then I came upon another quotable couplet in "An Essay on Criticism":

"Neglect the rules each verbal critic lays,
For not to know some trifles is a praise."
A. Pope

(I know, the rules on spelling and apostrophes may have been even less clear in Austen's day.)

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