Well, I just finished reading the Williams article, and what I want to know is how the fuck an article riddled with errors could ever be published in a respectable journal…
Calm down, I'm kidding! (Just trying to live up to the new foaming-at-the-mouth image that my tiny but loyal commenting public apparently expects of me.) But there's a sense in which I'm not kidding at all. If you have time to spare, you can see what I mean (and what Beth meant) by following right now this link to Joseph Williams' excellent article, reading it, and doing what Williams suggests.
And here I should perhaps say that sadly, Joseph Williams died last year. He was the author of the only style book that I recall ever being praised on Language Log - his Style: Toward Clarity and Grace. I wish I'd known him.
OK, have you read it? Then you'll have seen that Williams is playing a little game. He wants you to spot certain things. So here's the favor I want to beg of you. Could you please submit in comments to this post your responses to the request Williams' made at the end of his article, honestly stating which answers you found first time around, and which you found by later scrutiny?
Incidentally, I also see that the person Williams appointed as arbiter of the game, Professor Maxine Hairston, died in 2005. She was a professor at my institution (UT Austin), although she passed away before I arrived. I'll see if I can ferret out any information about what happened to the specially marked manuscript that Williams apparently gave her, or the results of readers mailing her their answers to Williams request. If any of you readers have any information, please pass it on in the comments or by email (dib AT-SIGN mail.utexas.edu).