For years I’ve been arguing with my wife about grammar, and now my son-in-law has waded into the fray, although he probably doesn’t realize how dangerous that is. I should’ve warned him how serious this war of words can get. For example, how many couples come to blows over the placement of a comma? (Okay, not quite.) But why did my lawyer have to remind me that disagreement over the use of the colon (the punctuation kind) is not really technically spousal abuse?
It doesn’t take much to trigger a skirmish around here. Often Ursula fires the first shot by ‘correcting’ my use of ‘fewer’ instead of ‘lesser’ (or vice versa) while I’m in the middle of eloquently explaining one of my many profound insights!
The problem is she taught English composition at Nipissing University and is too well versed in—and obsessed with—the so-called ‘rules’ of usage. So I, as a writer, am often driven to quoting Rhett Butler last words to Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With The Wind: "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn!"
I appreciate and greatly value effective communication, but I side
with Stephen Fry when it comes grammar pedants.