Because the commenting function in use here leaves a good deal to be desired, I think that many of you miss out on reading comments. A couple of recent ones are worth a little attention.

Item: Commenting on "Logic is rare," at which I wrote about the futility of complaining that idioms like could care less are not logical, iconocide wrote this:

 

Each moons John McNabutt rights thee same, things about howe: if u cantell what eye means, than its awl OK. As if! Linguists are any more qualificationed than yew or me is to documentify meanings. Y shood we practice agree upon rools. Y shood I use questions of marking* 

June McInfires was a a-grade cooty pie. And, also, super smarts. God bless him! Eye like that one picture up there where hes makes a face and with the bowty. Jorunalism writers are the bestestest! Us care about what you care about, Jane McNugget! Your a stare! You could stand up to not right like such a tightass you'resaelf though, you right like my grammer professer....... practice what you preech!

Full marks for inventiveness in ridicule, but the underlying point, to the extent that there is one, appears to be the same intellectually bankrupt point that peevers can't seem to abandon. Discarding even one bogus rule, they say, or acknowledging that standard written English is the correct version, all others being errors, will mean the collapse of all standards and the degeneration of all speech and writing into gibberish. It doesn't happen. All the Englishes in the six centuries since Chaucer, and we're still intelligible. Mainly. 


Item: A reader of "Immigrant or refugee?" calling herself chamrcitygirl wrote this:

What don't they understand about illegal? However what is coming across the border is neither an immigrant, a refugee or an asylee. They are criminal migrants deliberately breaking our law!

The thing is that people who are in the country illegally are not criminals. 

Immigration law is civil law, not criminal law. People crossing the border can be detained while their status is established, and they can be deported, but they cannot be charged with a criminal offense, tried, convicted, and jailed for merely being here. 

It is perhaps a subtle point, but you would think that people who strongly advocate law and order would trouble to understand what the law is. 

 

A correction to this post.