What other words are there for stickler, pedant or pundit, Lonneke van Leest-Kootkar asked in a blogpost last year. Rebecca Gowers, in Horrible Words (2016), chose to use the word griper instead of stickler (a word I will always associate with Lynne Truss). But here is another one! It is an old one, possibly revived by Kingsley Amis, so on your guard, OED editors!
I’m analysing Amis’s letters to the editor for my book English usage guides: The biography of a genre (nearly done now!), and I found one from 23 February 1985, in which he refers to himself as “a spotter of popular catachreses”. My rusty knowledge of Greek wasn’t much help here, but the OED was: the word means “Improper use of words; application of a term to a thing which it does not properly denote; abuse or perversion of a trope or metaphor”.
And as an inveterate OED user, I checked the quotation dates: 1589 (Puttenham) to 1810 (Coleridge). Did Amis revive the word? Perhaps, but look at the warning in red: not yet fully (?) updated yet! So, OED editors, here is a really nice postdating of the word, thanks to Kingsley Amis.
And what I’d be interested in is the question whether he really did revive the word, or whether any quotations can be found to fill the gap between 1810 and 1985.