Thursday, 15 January 2009

McKean’s law – my new motto

I hadn’t heard of Erin McKean until this morning, but she’s clearly a woman after my own heart:
McKean’s law:
“Any correction of the speech or writing of others will contain at least one grammatical, spelling, or typographical error.”

… And she should know – she’s an American lexicographer, formerly the Chief Consulting Editor for American Dictionaries at Oxford University Press and was the Principal Editor of The New Oxford American Dictionary, second edition.

I’ve added her lexicography blog to my Blogroll, to accompany that of our home-grown wordmeister, David Crystal.

My colleagues at SfEP tell me there’s another law similar to McKean’s:
Hartman’s Law of Prescriptivist Retaliation:
“Any article or statement about correct grammar, punctuation or spelling is bound to contain at least one eror..”
Boom, boom (… read à la* Basil Brush)

* Wonder if there’s a word for “read in a voice that sounds like…”?

No comments: