When in doubt, put it to the t-test.
The Slate article is correct to relate this to language usage arguments. There are conventions. We believe without much basis that the conventions we were taught are the correct ones. The reasons behind this are complicated, and ultimately unclear.
Yeah, I thought that was a pretty interesting take.My ultimate conclusion is that it's really obnoxious when people make things purposefully unclear, and then we waste time arguing over what was meant. The issue is those who attempt to obfuscate, not with those who misinterpret.