LETTER : Language purity and pedantry

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The Independent Online
From Mr Christopher Bamber

Sir: I wonder if Barney Prendergast (letter, 12 February) would regard Sir Ernest Gowers as a "trendy" defender of the "slipshod"?

Over 30 years ago Gowers' revision of Fowler's Modern English Usage (the only edition I have, and I make no apology for that) stated:

"That (different) can only be followed by from and not by to is a SUPERSTITION" [original emphases].

Pedantry should not always be condemned; but Mr Prendergast should make sure that his is more securely based.

Yours faithfully,

Christopher Bamber

Betley, Staffordshire

12 February