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Part: 1 No Uncertain Terms - Pg. 1

1 Part 1. No Uncertain Terms In 1983, a linguist named Geoffrey Nunberg published an essay called "The Decline of Grammar" in the Atlantic Monthly magazine. The article described the battle between different approaches to grammar and language usage. Truth be told, the article was about as dry as unbuttered melba toast. Nonetheless, the magazine was deluged with letters, many of them quite irate. When the smoke cleared, the editors realized that they had received one of the largest reader responses in years. More than two decades later, most of the burning issues of the early 1980s have cooled, but interest in language usage remains as fierce as ever. And you thought your mother was the only one who cared if you said, " Can I go to the bathroom?" instead of " May I go to the bathroom?" Now that you've finally gotten permission to go potty, it's time to see what grammar, usage, me- chanics, and style are all about.