Tuesday, October 04, 2022

Lynne Truss, Liz Truss, and the "zombie rules" of grammar and economics

When I first heard the name of British politician Liz Truss, I mixed her up with Lynne Truss, whose 2003 book on language use I read years ago, "Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation". Soon after its publication, the linguist Arnold Zwicky coined the expression "zombie rules" to refer to the language peeves that Lynne Truss and others write about: long since discredited, they live on anyway. Now that she's Prime Minister, Liz Truss has proven that she, too, loves zombie rules – in her case, those of "supply-side economics" and "trickle-down theory", with the long-discredited claim that tax cuts for the rich generate economic growth for all. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 4 October 2022)

No comments: