In a conversation today, something that I said was corrected. Nothing unusual there. I had accidentally dropped in an incorrect word while saying something. Again, nothing unusual there. We all have the odd slip of the tongue, and I'm happy to clarify anything misleading.
But then my corrector got it completely wrong. He said that I was a stickler for accuracy with words. Absolutely yes in published research. Absolutely no in conversation. I know he reads the blog. I guess he misreads the blog.
Because there is a broad spectrum of people who comment on English usage, from the language mavens who truss the speaker to the language liberals who trust the speaker, and I thought it was perfectly clear that I am firmly on the Pinker side.
I can still think that incorrect spellings or extra apostrophes are ugly. I can still think it is the duty of all writers to check their work before publishing. But I keep saying - what really matters is the message not the medium.