Punctuation is perhaps one-tenth rule and nine-tenths art. In that portion that is controlled by art, writers will differ, sometimes radically. The art of punctuation is the art of rhythm, for punctuation’s second function, after its first function of helping to establish clarity, is to set the rhythm of sentences. Rhythm in prose, it turns
What does a photodynamic South-African sheep disease (Geeldikkop), navel-gazing hesychastic prayer (omphalopsychite), and Dionysian theatre altars of antique Greece (thymele) have in common? National Review, May 31 I rarely look at NRO these days, but when I do, I expect better than this. What does a photodynamic South-African sheep disease (Geeldikkop) have in common with
Flout: verb (used with object) to treat with disdain, scorn, or contempt; scoff at; mock: to flout the rules of propriety. Flaunt: verb (used with object) to parade or display ostentatiously: to flaunt one’s wealth.
… to the soldiers who stormed the beaches of Normandy during a campaign stop… No. It does not matter that I *know* what the author of that sentence *meant.* That someone can write that– let alone (presumably) re-read it– and not be aware that it is f*cked is almost beyond belief. But I live in
A period of unfavorable weather set in. He showed satisfaction as he took possession of his well-earned reward. It rained every day for a week. He grinned as he pocketed the coin. The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr., With Revisions, an Introduction, and New Chapter on Writing by E.B. White (1959)
Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects
That’s what I said. I said, “I’ll do Harbrace, Little-Brown, and Strunk & White, but not Google.” Some background is in order. Mr. Big Food and I had a terrible row this morning. We are in full agreement on noun-pronoun agreement (e.g., “Every child has their his or her favorite toy”; alt. “All children have
If there’s an Oxford Comma, why isn’t there also a Cambridge Comma? Or maybe it has merely been overtaken by what I call the “Shatner-Walken Comma,” which runs something like: “What, do you mean, a Cambridge, comma? All you, need, is more, cowbell. And, Yeoman Rand.” Powerline’s.s The Week in Pictures Pictures coming after coffee
With a weekly circulation of 1,021,638 and an approximate daily reach of seven million readers… And apparently zero editors. This is 3rd grade stuff, right?
via Powerline’s The week in Pictures.
Check this out: Social media encourage James S. Robbins in USA Today; and Social media have Roger L. Simon at PJMedia. Two counts of correct grammar in one day! The data are overwhelming!
But shouldn’t the end quotation be to the right of the period? Asking for a friend. Via Powerline’s The Week in Pictures
but instead I’m wandering around the World Wide Web. The story of the Melungeons is at once a footnote to the history of race in America and a timely parable of it. They bear witness to the horrors and legacy of segregation, but also to the overlooked complexity of the early colonial era. They suggest
The best of them are bad writers of English; the others write no language known to man. Just need to get that out there, man. Also this: Now, it should seem a matter of course to say that if you do not know who Michael Faraday and William Harvey are you have no business setting
I am a fan of the Oxford comma. In fact, I follow The Oxford Comma on Twitter. For some unfathomable reason, some folks are not fans of the Oxford comma. One Emma Green is preparing to take them on: Some people, apparently, disagree—including those who follow the AP’s style book, which is most traditional newspaper
One of the most important values parents can give their children is an understanding of the importance of caring for the world around them. For hardline progressives, that involves recycling. The rest of us care more about people. What the actual, literal, actual flip do those words actually really in real life mean? One of
Somebody who is going to lead America and the world and demonstrated significant accomplishment in their life. Someone whose ideas and politics are clear. This should grate on your nerves and your ear, and if it doesn’t it should. Is James J. Kilpatrick still alive? He should be.