Some facts of life:
Item: If, identifying yourself as a copy editor, you publish articles about language (or anything else), there are people who will pounce gleefully on every lapse and typographical error.* Some will then use the lapse to ignore the point you were making.
Item: If, identifying yourself as a prescriptivist and an upholder of the highest standards of the language, you can expect a close examination of your prose. Viz., Geoffrey Pullum's extended necropsy of the texts of the Queen's English Society. It reveals just how flaccid the prose is, and how many of the common "rules" and shibboleths the society violates.
Item: If, identifying yourself as an authority on style and usage, you publish a rule that has little or no visible foundation, you can expect to be challenged and ridiculed. Such is the consequence of the Associated Press Stylebook's attempt to determine whether whereabouts should be considered a singular or a plural. Fred Vultee advises: "The AP shouldn't be wasting time on questions for which the first answer is 'did you look it up?' If it must, though, it should at least avoid doing harm." That is, to avoid "a set of unintelligible, unfounded claims about some mystical grammar world."**
Item: If, identifying yourself as a prescriptivist copy editor holding forth on questions of style, faith, and morals (and a fop in dress), you display your preferences publicly, it is best to stay humble. Thus @tao_of_grammar's tweet, "Who uses 'whom' in casual conversation and writing?" and my reply, "Id do, but I don't scorn people who don't."
*Some will be tactful enough to notify you privately, bless their hearts, and I am grateful to them. To borrow once more a line from Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe, it relieves me of the burden of omniscience.
**The answer, had the AP editors bothered to consult Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English Usage (both singular and plural are standard) or Garner on Usage (plural has become ten times as common as the singular in modern print sources), they could have said that it doesn't matter much. Instead, they attempted to invent a distinction.
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