This is a beautiful piece of writing about writing.
From a powerful opening;
The Wired style guide changed my life. One particular sentence, in fact.
But language theory/usage/pedantry issues aside, there's something about the idea of the guide the author remembers vs. the actual document that I find interesting.
I think this is the key paragraph;
To my teenage self, it was like being handed a crystal ball and a lever with which to move the world at the same time. You mean that I could anticipate the direction that language change would happen in, and help push it there even faster? The power was intoxicating. I was sold — and I’ve written email and internet ever since, with the security of knowing that, if my choices were ever questioned, I could calmly reply “You see, it’s because I follow the Wired style guide.”
(No one has ever questioned me on these choices. It seems that teenage!Gretchen slightly overestimated the number of duels that adults were expected to fight on matters of punctuation.)
If the point of a style guide is to codify and formalise a writing style, but the central idea is that Wired's style should be at the forefront of a rapidly changing language, it could only ever be a disappointment to revisit in the future and see the glaring mistakes. (I have a small collection of books that talked about the growth of internet advertising and talked far too much about "portals" while completely overlooking the inportance of search engines.)