Sunday, June 5, 2016

Another plug for the serial comma

As my students and clients know, I am a big fan of the serial, or Oxford comma—you know, that punctuation mark that belongs in a list of three or more things before the word and.

lions, tigers, and bears

For such a tiny little squiggle, the serial comma elicits a lot of heated debate. The British writer Lynne Truss defended it beautifully—and hilariously—in the New York Times bestseller Eats, Shoots & Leaves.

If you can't make time to read Truss' book [although really, you should], here is a quick two-minute video by New Yorker copy editor Mary Norris, aka the Comma Queen. I couldn't say it better.

Mary Norris
Queen Mary has a new book that I'm eager to read. It's entitled Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen. Has anyone else read it yet?