Q: This has been bugging me since my first fortuitous encounter with the joys of www.grammarphobia.com: Why “grammarphobia,” rather than “grammarphilia”? Can it be that you harbor a secret hatred of punctuation and syntax — or was it, simply, because “grammarphilia” was taken?
A: The name of the website comes from the subtitle of my first book, Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English.
I wanted to show that my book and website would be friendly and accessible to people who FEAR grammar (hence the “phobia”), as well as to language types who gulp down bowls of gerunds and subjunctives for breakfast in the morning.
The idea was to explain grammar (and other language issues) in terms that wouldn’t intimidate the ordinary reader, while not turning off those who already feel comfortable with the terminology and complexities of our language (grammarphiles).
Buy Pat’s books at a local store or Amazon.com.