The ‘rules’ of grammar that you can break with Steven Pinker’s permission

We were lucky enough to sit down with Professor Steven Pinker last week, on the eve of the launch of his new book, “The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century.”

He told us about some of the rules of grammar which aren’t rules at all.

To help illustrate the rules, we chose 6 pieces of music. Can you beat the intro and name the ‘rule’ of grammar that it’s ok to break?

1. If there’s something strange in your neighbourhood, should you care about the who/whom distinction?


2. Do you know where you’re going to…put that preposition?


3. And finally, here’s why you can begin a sentence with ‘And':


The rules of grammar are there to serve a purpose: clear communication. Nothing is more important than that, especially not pedantry.

If you’re unsure how to employ language as a weapon for your company, just email Chris.

In our previous post, Steven Pinker shared his views onĀ why brands don’t care enough about their language.
And tomorrow, we’ll post the next clips of our chat with Steve.