English usage ‘non-errors’

2006/07/14 at 09:00

This web page about English usage ‘non-errors’ has been making the rounds in the bloggin world this week. It contains a list of English usage that people frequently correct, but the author of this page calls them ‘non-errors’ since they are in common usage. I poked around and discovered that the author of the page is an English professor who has published a book on English usage errors.
Given the author’s knowledge of English usage, I’m a little disappointed that he calls the items on this page ‘non-errors.’ In fact, his primary argument that the issues in question are not errors is the fact that they are commonly used. I don’t see how he can publish a prescriptivist book on usage and then not disclose that his view of these issues is based on a descriptivist argument.