I remember learning in an English class as a kid a number of grammar rules that people break all the time. It’s maddening information to know. I now live in a world where I can’t help but notice when someone says “less,” “which,” or “good” when, according to Ms. Southerland, the speaker should have said “fewer,” “that,” or “well.”
My ears also unintentionally perk up when I hear names and titles being slung around in conversation ever since reading Dr. Deborah Tannen’s 2001 book Talking From 9 to 5: Women and Men at Work. Many of her observations and explanations of people’s communication styles, expectations, and rhetoric have stuck with me and come to mind when I interact with colleagues.
Consider which of these is not like the others: “Turner, Smith, Jones, and Annie.”
Dr. Tannen uses this list of names in an example in her book saying:
He referred to the three men […]