Strange rules, strange spellings

Sentence first

At Macmillan Dictionary Blog I’ve been writing about strange rules and strange spellings. First up, How many ‘alternatives’ can there be? revisits a recent list of usage peeves from Simon Heffer, focusing on the false idea that there can only be two alternatives:

this dubious rule has little support among experts. Even back in 1965, Ernest Gowers’ revision of Fowler called it a ‘fetish’. It seems to originate in the word’s Latin ancestor, which specified a choice between two. But English is not Latin, and this is the etymological fallacy – the belief that a word’s older or original meaning must be more correct or solely correct. It is a misconception that underlies many false beliefs about words. . . .

No one can uphold the etymological fallacy consistently and still hope to communicate with people. Because so many words drift semantically, the purists must pick and choose a…

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open carry relationship

It’s time — time for me to admit the truth. I’ve avoided talking about this for years, but now it’s out in the open. My parents have come out of the closet. So I might as well accept it and get on with my life.

My parents have an open carry relationship.

my parents open carry

They hid it from me at first. I suppose they were ashamed. Maybe they even denied it to themselves. To each other. But you can’t deny who you are forever. You can’t deny the things you love most. And my parents…well, they love the Second Amendment. And guns.

my parents open carry2

They used to hide their love. They hid their guns, denied their Constitutional rights, tried to be ‘normal.’ But it was just too hard. Too unfair. Too dishonest. So they decided to come out of the gun closet — just to family and friends, at first. They began to wear their guns…

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