Red pen alert! English professor bemoans mistakes

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- A professor of linguistics at the University of Edinburgh says people who nitpick about grammar mistakes may be doing more harm than good to their students.

      Visiting Brown University English professor Geoffrey Pullum offers his theories on grammar Friday at two lectures at the University of South Carolina's Gambrell Hall. The lectures are open to the public.

      Pullum says students deserve better than the unexplained prohibitions and useless clarifications that pass for proper language instruction.

      He says the lack of a systematic form of instruction leads too many to nitpick other's writing.

      Pullum says he has some remedies for these problems. He is the author of more than 200 articles and books on English grammar.