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180. Benjamin Dreyer (copy chief of Random House) – Really actually truly great English - Think Again – a Big Think Podcast

Avsnittet publicerades: 2/2/2019

There are two kinds of people in this world: Those who don’t give a damn about grammar, style, or  syntax, and those who write aggrieved letters to publishing houses about split infinitives.
My guest today, Benjamin Dreyer, is neither. As the Copy Chief of Random House, it is his unenviable task to steer the middle way between linguistic pedantry and letting these writers get away with bloody murder. Scratch “bloody”—redundancy.
Before reading his hilarious and practical new book DREYER’S ENGLISH,  I think I would have imagined the Copy Chief of Random House as something like the Arbiter Eligantiae of Ancient Rome—a terrifying, absolute authority on questions of grammatical law and taste. The kind of person who walks around waving a scepter at things to be preserved or destroyed. As the book makes plain, however, there’s no absolute authority when it comes to either taste or correctness in the English language. Still, please avoid “impactful”, “utilize”, and 'very unique.”  And use the Oxford comma. And you can do away with just, really, and actually while you’re at it. 

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We surprise some of the world's brightest minds with ideas they're not at all prepared to discuss. With host Jason Gots and special guests Neil Gaiman, Alan Alda, Salman Rushdie, Mary-Louise Parker, Richard Dawkins, Margaret Atwood, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, Saul Williams, Henry Rollins, Bill Nye, George Takei, Maria Popova, and many more . . . You've got 10 minutes with Einstein. What do you talk about? Black holes? Time travel? Why not gambling? The Art of War? Contemporary parenting? Some of the best conversations happen when we're pushed outside of our comfort zones. So each week on Think Again, we surprise smart people you've probably heard of with hand-picked gems from Big Think's interview archives on every imaginable subject. The conversation could go anywhere. SINCE 2008, BIG THINK has captured on video the best ideas of the world’s leading thinkers and doers in every field, renowned experts including neurologist Oliver Sacks, physicist Stephen Hawking, behavioral psychologist Daniel Kahneman, authors Margaret Atwood and Marylinne Robinson, entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson, painter Chuck Close, and philosopher Daniel Dennett.