I admit with pride that I can be somewhat zealous about grammar. (In fact, I have been accused of it by some.) So I was quite taken with Louis Menand’s review of the fifteenth edition of the Chicago Manual of Style when I first read it last fall. Manand begins with a discussion of the “moving target” of citation styles, ranges to the consequences of computerized composition, and considers some of the ins and outs of an inconsistent and intricate written world. [Aside: Is it just me, or does The New Yorker web site lack a search feature and any obvious links to archives? It took me forever to find this article again. In the meantime, I discovered a PDF copy of the Manual of Style first edition. Neat.]
Ever flabberghasted at my students’ persistent confusion of “its” and “it’s” (Possessive. Conjunction. Why is this so hard to understand?), I think I might enjoy Eats, Shoots, and Leaves, by Lynne Truss. But damn if this isn’t the most annoying book review I have ever read.
Update: I know, it’s some kind of internet axiom, like Godwin’s law, that any post discussing grammer or punctuation will be rife with errors in grammar and punctuation. I proofread this, but I’m sure someone will find something with which to quibble.