The overwhelming success of the Common Errors in English Usage Calendar mailing, and why it will never be the same again

If you are reading this, you are probably already a subscriber to the Common Errors in English Usage e-calendar, and you have probably noticed some changes in its appearance over the past few days. If you are reading this and are not a subscriber to the Common Errors in English Usage e-calendar, what are you waiting for? Go here to subscribe.

I've been getting some questions and comments about this, so I'll take a moment to explain. Before I started the e-calendar, I had never managed an e-mail list. I had no idea what I was in for, but to the extent that I did understand what was involved, I figured it was a matter of adding subscribers to a list, deleting unsubscribers from that same list, and lining up daily entries to be delivered to the list.

And guess what? I was right about that for several months. That really was all that was involved. It took a little time, but I was having fun. From time to time I would get responses from subscribers who had something to say about a particular entry, and I figured all was well.

Something happened, though, a few weeks ago. All of a sudden my e-mail program stopped delivering the entries. I will spare everyone the technical workaround that our e-mail technician devised in order to continue the mailings, but I will add that my Internet service provider must have noticed I was sending out quite a lot of e-mail in a short period of time every day, and so began limiting the amount of e-mail I was allowed to deliver at one time. The only solution, short of getting a reasonable human at my Internet service provider who happened to understand my problem and knew how to make the appropriate changes (not possible, apparently), was to break down the list into eleven different parts and stagger their delivery over a period of about three hours.

Needless to say, this was not tenable over the long term. Though very time-consuming, I managed to continue the mailings while seeking out an alternative, which turned out to be a mail service (Comm100) that provides e-mail delivery for non-spammers such as I, and also maintains a policy of not collecting e-mail addresses of subscribers to be used for other purposes. I am very happy with this situation, and I hope the subscribers to the e-calendar are, too.

This is my (overly) detailed explanation for the new look of the e-calendar. Some feedback I have received will help me improve its appearance, and I look forward to the rest of the year. If you have comments, please add them below.


Anonymous said...

I am sure you have already discussed the demise of the objective pronoun. I still shudder when I hear "...between you and I".
In today's tv and movie scripts I hear it all the time. You would never hear ir spoken in a movie from the 1930's or 40's. At least I thought so. I was horrified. The other day I saw an old B film with Gale Storm. It was made during the early 40's. And there it was!! One of the characters said "Between you and I".
I was shocked. I consoled myself into thinking it must have slipped by the censors.
I refuse to give in. I will always carry the banner of correct use of the objective pronoun.

Anonymous said...

I wish to comment regarding the entry on the distinction between ethics and morals. I do not agree that one relates to standards and the other to behaviour. My view is that ethical behaviour is in accordance with a societal standard, while moral behaviour relates to universal standards of good and bad behaviour. For example, morally, it is always bad to kill another person, but police officers and soldiers are sometimes required to do so and are acting ethically when they do, as is anyone at all acting in self defense. A soldier who refuses to kill in combat is morally correct but ethically wrong, and may be branded a coward. A crime occurs when a killing is neither moral (which is never is) nor ethical (which it sometimes is).

Jack Squire
Iqaluit, Nunavut,