UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

June 18, 2009

UNRESOLVED ISSUES OF OUR TIMES

Lisa Gold Research - I'm a big fan of the serial comma, and the Chicago Manual of Style now "strongly recommends this widely practiced usage, blessed by Fowler and other authorities…, since it prevents ambiguity." Here's an example from the Times that shows what can happen without the serial comma: "By train, plane and sedan chair, Peter Ustinov retraces a journey made by Mark Twain a century ago. The highlights of his global tour include encounters with Nelson Mandela, an 800-year-old demigod and a dildo collector." Perhaps the most famous example of why the serial comma should be used is this apocryphal book dedication: "To my parents, Ayn Rand and God."

1 Comments:

Anonymous m said...

"The older I grow, the less important the comma becomes. Let the reader catch his own breath.'
Elizabeth Clarkson Zwart

June 18, 2009 3:55 PM  

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