Posts Tagged: commas

Serial Commas, Subordinate Clauses, and the New Yorker

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Mary Norris has a gift for your favorite grammarian in this week’s New Yorker: a detailed account of comma policy from a veteran copyeditor. The magazine is notorious for its meticulous house style (where else do you still see a diaeresis over the word coördinate?), which it owes to Mensa-level punctuator Eleanor Gould and her acolytes.

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Word of the Day: Logodaedaly

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(n.); cunning in words; skill in adorning speech; the arbitrary or capricious coinage of words; from late Latin and Greek, log (“speech, word”) and daidalos (“skillful, ingeniously formed)

Every society we’ve ever known has had poetry, and should the day come that poetry suddenly disappears in the morning, someone, somewhere, will reinvent it by evening.

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Commas, and How Complicated Things Might Really Be

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When properly used, commas can be used to keep discourse clear, to bring statements together, and to suffuse language with detail. In “The Comma From Which My Heart Hangs,”  Benjamin Samuel makes the case for using commas correctly, exploring the difference between the sentences “I love Tom” and “I love, Tom,” among a number of other examples.

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