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Jonathon Owen
Jonathon Owen is a copy editor and language writer with a master’s degree in linguistics from Brigham Young University. His thesis explores the role of copyediting in regulating English usage, and he holds the paradoxical view that it’s possible to be a prescriptivist and descriptivist simultaneously. He blogs about usage, editing, and linguistics at Arrant Pedantry and is a regular contributor to Visual Thesaurus. He also writes a column on grammar for Copyediting newsletter. In his free time he likes to play Scrabble and design word-nerdy t-shirts. You can follow him on Twitter at @ArrantPedantry.

Entries by Jonathon Owen

Why Teach Grammar?

(18) Comments | Posted March 4, 2014 | 1:06 PM

Originally posted on

Today is National Grammar Day, and I've been thinking a lot lately about what grammar is and why we study it. Last week in the Atlantic, Michelle Navarre Cleary wrote that we should do away with diagramming sentences and...

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The Pronunciation of 'Smaug'

(3) Comments | Posted January 17, 2014 | 7:57 AM

Originally posted on Arrant Pedantry:

With the recent release of the new Hobbit movie, The Desolation of Smaug, a lot of people have been talking about the pronunciation of the titular dragon's name. The inclination for English speakers is to pronounce it like smog, but Tolkien made...

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Yes, 'Irregardless' Is a Word

(176) Comments | Posted December 13, 2013 | 7:39 AM

Originally posted on Arrant Pedantry:

My last post, "12 Mistakes Nearly Everyone Who Writes about Grammar Mistakes Makes," drew a lot of comments, some supportive and some critical. But no point drew as much ire as my claim that irregardless is a word. Some stated...

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12 Mistakes Nearly Everyone Who Writes About Grammar Mistakes Makes

(125) Comments | Posted November 20, 2013 | 4:06 PM

There are a lot of bad grammar posts in the world. These days, anyone with a blog and a bunch of pet peeves can crank out a click-bait listicle of supposed grammar errors. There's just one problem -- these articles are often full of mistakes of one sort or another...

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