Photo by Missy Minear
Photo by Missy Minear

I’m Lisa McLendon, and I run the Bremner Editing Center at the University of Kansas journalism school. Before that, I spent a dozen years on newspaper copy desks after getting a doctorate in Slavic linguistics. I’m also a member of the American Copy Editors Society and serve on its Education Fund board.

As an editor, teacher, linguist and writer, I walk the “thin red(-pen) line” between prescriptivism and descriptivism. What does that mean? It means I think language needs to follow some standards in order to effectively communicate, but I also recognize that language is a living, changing entity and that obsolete rules, non-rules and distinctions serving only as shibboleths do no one any good.

For the purposes of this blog, I’m using the broader definition of “grammar”: not just morphology and syntax, but all the guidelines that govern language use, including spelling, punctuation and word usage. Opinions expressed here are my own.

Read my interview with Grammarist.

Read my interview with Andy Bechtel at The Editor’s Desk.

A note about “Muphry’s Law”

That’s not a typo: Muphry’s Law is the “law” stating that any given piece of writing that attempts to correct mistakes in language or offer advice on correct language use will itself contain an error. I know I will fall victim to this at some point, so go ahead, point and laugh when I do; I can take it. (Just don’t write “Your wrong” in the comments.)


2 thoughts on “About

  1. “…(Just don’t write “Your wrong” in the comments.)”
    Sorry, but I might have to write “your wrong.”
    if I’m wrong, then it’s my wrong. If you’re wrong (which is rare), then that’s your wrong.
    Sorry, I couldn’t resist.


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