Are standards of English alright—or should that be all right? To knowingly split an infinitive or not to? And what about ending a sentence with a preposition, or for that matter beginning one with "and"?We learn language by instinct, but good English, the pedants tell us, requires rules. Yet, as Oliver Kamm cleverly demonstrates in this new book, many of the purists' prohibitions are bogus and can be cheerfully disregarded. Accidence Will Happen is an authoritative and deeply reassuring guide to grammar, style, and the linguistic conundrums we all face.
Oliver Kamm is a chief columnist for the London Times. As a self-confessed reformed pedant he is the newspaper's unofficial expert on language and style, a subject he tackles in his long-running immensely popular weekly column "The Pedant." He writes two weekly columns: "The Pedant," on language; and a "Notebook" on economics, international affairs, and culture. He is a regular columnist for the Jewish Chronicle, and his writings have also appeared in The Guardian, The New York Times, the New Republic, Foreign Policy, the New Statesman, and many other publications. He lives in England.