I’m not a stickler. A lot of people assume I am. They think that, because I write a column about grammar, surely I’m “pro” good grammar — someone who believes that people should opt for the most proper language and eschew newer, less formal and more controversial uses.
I don’t believe in telling people how to speak or write. Dictionaries disagree with one another on many issues, grammarians disagree, usage guides and style books disagree — who am I to say which ones are right and which are wrong?
If I advocate anything, it’s not using good grammar but understanding grammar. It’s much more important to know what a subordinate clause is than to demand that “healthy” can’t mean “healthful” — especially since this is one of those cases in which dictionaries disagree.