The language will change, and that's OK. Once upon a time, "nice" meant silly; now it means agreeable and pleasant. No writer today would throw a casual 17th-century "alack" into the conversation save with ironic intent. "Impact" isn't a verb? I know it's not, but plenty of people unfortunately think it is, to judge by the way they use it. What's a "pedant" to do but shrug and cling a little more closely to other threatened usages?
Various things remain true. Words of a single syllable, carefully aimed, can travel like bullets. A lovely metaphor will linger long in the mind, sometimes humming, sometimes cooing. A writer incapable of coming to the point will look up to see an empty chair where his reader had been sitting. Careless, haphazard syntax can give readers the same impression as garlic breath at a soiree.
There are things the writer can try and get by with, in other words: indeed, more than get by with. There are other things he'd do well to watch with infinite caution, if not repulsion.
Rules? Frameworks? Best practices? You bet we need 'em, not least so we can safely ignore them at precisely the right moment. Next time, dig a hole with a hammer. The point might come clear at last.
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