Category: Punctuation

October 24, 2019

The “Only” Comma, pt. 1

A little while ago, one of my coworkers came to me with a conundrum. She had come across a sentence like “Ryan founded the company with his brother Scott” in something she was editing, and she couldn’t figure out if “brother” should be followed by a comma. She’d already spent quite a bit of time […]

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Pragmatics, Punctuation 8 Replies to “The “Only” Comma, pt. 1”
November 28, 2017

Two Space or Not Two Space

A friend of mine recently posted on Facebook that you could take the second space after a period away from him when you pry it from his cold, dead fingers. I responded with this image of Ben Wyatt from Parks and Recreation. But I said I’d refrain from sharing my thoughts unless he really wanted […]

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Punctuation 15 Replies to “Two Space or Not Two Space”
November 30, 2015

How to Use Quotation Marks

In my work as a copyeditor, one of the most common style errors I see is the overuse of quotation marks. Of course quotation marks should be used to set off quotations, but some writers have a rather expansive notion of what quotation marks should be used for, sprinkling them liberally throughout a document on […]

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Punctuation 8 Replies to “How to Use Quotation Marks”
February 23, 2015

Fifty Shades of Bad Grammar Advice

A few weeks ago, the folks at the grammar-checking website Grammarly wrote a piece about supposed grammar mistakes in Fifty Shades of Grey. Despite being a runaway hit, the book has frequently been criticized for its terrible prose, and Grammarly apparently saw an opportunity to fix some of the book’s problems (and probably sell its […]

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Editing, Grammar, Punctuation, Rants, Usage 18 Replies to “Fifty Shades of Bad Grammar Advice”
September 8, 2014

Is the Oxford Comma Ungrammatical?

Few language issues inspire as much fervent debate as the question of whether you need a comma before the last item in a series, also known as the Oxford, Harvard, or serial comma. This is the comma that you sometimes see before and in lists, such as “I need you to go to the store […]

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Punctuation 11 Replies to “Is the Oxford Comma Ungrammatical?”
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