There is nothing more enjoyable that tripping up a pedant and Louis Menand has a lot of fun ripping to shreds Lynne Truss's best selling "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" in The New Yorker. A sample:
"I am not a grammarian,” Truss says. No quarrel there… Why would a person who is not just vague about the rules but disinclined to follow them bother to produce a guide to punctuation?Menand seems cross not just at Truss, but at all sloppy British writers:
"An Englishwoman lecturing Americans on semicolons is a little like an American lecturing the French on sauces. Some of Truss’s departures from punctuation norms are just British laxness."There is something in that. Forty years of tabloid journalism have so degraded British English that standards are now much higher in leading American periodicals such as The New Yorker than in their British equivalents.