Just finished the book Going Nucular by this guy, Geoffrey Nunberg. He’s like this senior researcher at the Center for the Study of Language and Information at Stanford University, and the chair of the Usage Panel of the American Heritage Dictionary. (How jealous am I!?).
Anyway, he asks a couple of cool questions, like, if “the pool is deceptively shallow,” does that mean it’s shallower or deeper than it looks? If “she runs best with a minimal amount of food in her stomach,” does that mean she runs best if she doesn’t eat at all, or if she eats just a bit?
I have some pretty strong feelings about all this, and I’d be curious to hear comments from some of my favorite writers (and I think you know who you are).