In which Cam Newton demures from the truth

The Boston Globe sports page this morning contained this sentence:

He can’t demure from the truth: that race is a factor in how he is perceived because the expectations for comportment at the position he plays have been shaped largely by quarterbacks who didn’t look, play, or act like him.

By this evening the sentence had been corrected to say “demur from the truth”.  Well, “demur from” is certainly better than “demure from”, although “demur from the truth” sure sounds awkward to me. “Demur” basically means “object” — how do you object from something?

The confusion between “demur” and “demure” is deep enough to require explication from grammar sites. Sports writers probably don’t need to know the difference between the two words, but newspaper copy editors really ought to.

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A short post in regards to language peevery

It’s National Grammar Day!  In honor of the day, Poynter listed some of their pet peeves..Here’s one of mine.

In my very important day job I read the weekly status reports of a number of highly experienced professional writers.  This week one writer used the phrase “in regards to”. Two reports later, another writer offered up “with regards to”.

Where did I go wrong?

Some people don’t like split infinitives (I don’t know why).  Some people are annoyed by due to.  “With regards to” and “in regards to” are like fingernails on a blackboard to me. This guy tells me I’m wrong to be annoyed.  Google Ngram Viewer tells me their use has exploded since 1960 or so.  I don’t care.  They sound awful.  And people who use them should get off my lawn.