Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Zombie Grammar Rules
1. According to Rebecca Johnson: "If you can insert "by zombies" after the verb, you have passive voice."
2. "What are zombie grammar rules? They are misconceptions about the English language that, for whatever reason, refuse to die. ... Don’t be a zombie! Consult your dictionaries and style and usage guides (preferably ones from this century). And the next time you encounter one of these nonsensical rules, get out your metaphorical literary hatchet, baseball bat, or what have you, and strike down these myths until they’re dead instead of undead" (lernerbooks.blogspot.com).
3. Arnold Zwicky, a linguist, in 2009 developed Zombie rules. "A proscription that has died in practice but continues to lumber about in odd corners of usage advice.”
4. "... zombie rules: Though dead, they shamble mindlessly on. The worst thing about zombie rules, I believe, is not the pomposity of those advocating them, or the time-wasting character of the associated gotcha games, but the way they actually make people’s writing worse. They promote insecurity, and nervous people worrying about their language write worse than relaxed people enjoying their language" (chronicle.com).
I think #4 is my favorite.
Bottom line: RELAX. Enjoy writing.