Sam Potts wrote a (pretty excellent) takedown of The Elements of Typographic Style, which attacks, among other things, the book's polemical nature, outdated conventions, and confused sense of purpose.
Here's a key paragraph:
ETS’s position on typography after all isn’t so different from saying the best movies were made in the 40s in Hollywood and so we, today, should be making black and white movies to uphold the tradition. Imagine a filmmaking manual that argued for this. Should we emulate Renaissance typography any more than we emulate its forms of dress or cuisine, its painting or music or speech?
I'm inclined to agree. I read Bringhurst before going to design school, and I spent design school unlearning it. Typography is necessarily an evolving medium — just as painting and language are. The first chapter speaks about typography in broad, almost romantic terms — "Letters have a life and dignity of their own", "There is a style beyond style" — but the rest of the book tells us exactly how to interpret those broader ideas, and ends up restricting the expressive potential of typography.
What are your thoughts?