Prescriptive question

Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Fri Jun 11 16:24:46 UTC 2004

On Jun 11, 2004, at 8:54 AM, Peter A. McGraw wrote:

> Gee, thanks for the free research, Arnold!

there's a lot of that going around in this list.  we even have larry
horn doing recipe testing for us!

i have a very large (and ever-growing) collection of handbooks,
manuals, textbooks, and usage dictionaries, and it's not hard to pick
out a few and riffle through them.  it can be a little tricky to figure
out where pronoun-antecedent relationships will be classified (under
agreement, antecedent, concord, pronoun, or what), and you have to look
at the examples and exercises, because these often introduce types of
sentences that are not explicitly mentioned in the rules, but i've had
lots of experience (by now) in dealing with this.

i do have to be at my library/study/office (officially named Kirjasto
Zwicky), 'cause that's where the linguistics books are.  when i'm
working from home, all i have is my fallible memory and a few sources
(AHD4, NSOED2, MWDEU, the quirk grammar, huddleston/pullum, walker's
rhyming dictionary, among them; yes, i have duplicate copies of these)

>  I was surprised not to find a
> reference to this in the Chicago manual, and I'm even more surprised to
> hear it's absent from EIGHT other manuals.  The question, of course, is
> whether the manuals omit it because they've decided there's nothing
> wrong with the "lurking we" or because they think it's such an obvious
> no-no that it isn't even worth mentioning.


arnold (zwicky at

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