People write "last January" when they mean the last January to have occurred, and I change it, because there's also last January as in January of last year.
People write "Kansas City" when they mean the one in Missouri, and I change it, because there's also the one in Kansas. They write "Fairfax" when they mean giant Fairfax County, Va., and I change it, because there's also tiny Fairfax City, Va., which by a quirk of Virginia law is not part of the county that surrounds it.
I change these things over and over, and every once in a while I wonder why. And it never fails: The minute I'm about to give in, somebody writes "Illinois senator" in reference to a member of the Illinois Senate. Or "last January" in a reference to two Januarys ago. Or "Kansas City" in a reference to Kansas. Or "Fairfax" in a reference to Fairfax City.
And I smile a little smile and wonder what I was thinking and continue being a big, fat pickypants.
I "leave room," a concept I explain further in "Yes, I Could Care Less: How to Be a Language Snob Without Being a Jerk," coming June 18 to a bookstore near you.