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 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 demonstrates, 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.
'A unique and indispensable guide to usage' STEVEN PINKER
'An immensely intelligent and playful polemic, cheeky and erudite by turns...certainly gets the blood pumping, so do read it' THE TIMES
'A superb book' INDEPENDENT
Oliver Kamm is a chief leader writer and columnist for THE 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'. View his profile at www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/public/profile/Oliver-Kamm @OliverKamm