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Language doesn’t belong to grammarians, linguists, wordsmiths, writers, or editors. It belongs to the people who use it. It goes where people want it to go, and, like a balky mule, you can’t make it go where it doesn’t want to go.

Rosalie Maggio (1944-2021) American writer
Talking About People: A Guide to Fair and Accurate Language, “Writing Guidelines” (1997)
Added on 6-Nov-23 | Last updated 6-Nov-23
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If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy.

Dorothy Parker (1893-1967) American writer
“Book Reviews,” Esquire (1 Nov 1959)

Review of William Strunk Jr and E. B. White, The Elements of Style, revised edition.
Added on 15-Jun-20 | Last updated 15-Jun-20
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Grammar, perfectly understood, enables us, not only to express our meaning fully and clearly, but so to express it as to enable us to defy the ingenuity of man to give to our words any other meaning than that which we ourselves intend them to express.

William Cobbett (1763-1835) English politician, agriculturist, journalist, pamphleteer
A Grammar of the English Language, Letter 2 (1818)
Added on 24-Oct-17 | Last updated 24-Oct-17
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The dictionaries should get with it; in pronunciation and ultimately in usage, when enough of us are wrong, we’re right.

Safire - wrong right - wist_info quote

William Safire (1929-2009) American author, columnist, journalist, speechwriter
Language Maven Strikes Again, “Drudgery It Ain’t” (1990)

Often paraphrased: "The thing about language is that, when enough of us are wrong, we're right."
Added on 18-Dec-15 | Last updated 18-Dec-15
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My attitude toward punctuation is that it ought to be as conventional as possible. The game of golf would lose a good deal if croquet mallets and billiard cues were allowed on the putting green. You ought to be able to show that you can do it a good deal better than anyone else with the regular tools before you have a license to bring in your own improvements.

Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) American writer
Letter (15 May 1925)

In C. Baker (ed.), Ernest Hemingway: Selected Letters, 1917-1961 (1981).
Added on 29-Jul-09 | Last updated 12-Mar-20
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