Archive for August, 2010

Words

24Aug10

This lovely video, produced by Everynone for Radiolab, has been doing the rounds on Twitter, so you may already have seen it. It bears repeat viewing, I think. It’s about words and also about our common humanity. I find it moving. Serendipity is a lovely word and a lovely concept. Shortly after watching the Words […]


Fascinating comma fact 1 A comma is not just a punctuation mark, it’s also a type of butterfly, so-named because of the white comma-shaped marking on the underside of its wing (you can just about see it in the photo). UK Butterflies (which provides more detailed photos) describes the Comma as looking like a “tatty […]


To those of you still fretting over the Oxford Comma dilemma (and who don’t read the Comments – tsk, tsk!), the “august journal” Speculative Grammarian offers the following solution: Since the OC appears to present more problems of CrossPondian translation than any other form of punctuation, a solution must be found which satisfies users on both […]


Do you use the Oxford (serial) comma? Here’s a sentence with the Oxford comma: My favourite foods are Greek yoghurt, salted almonds, cheese, and dark chocolate. Here’s the same sentence without: My favourite foods are Greek yoghurt, salted almonds, cheese and dark chocolate. And here’s one where, unless you change the order of the list […]


I was puzzled last week to see references on Twitter to the exotic-sounding “Oxford comma”, a new term to me. It turns out (thank you, Mark Allen and  Oxford Dictionaries) that the Oxford comma is another name for the “serial comma”: an optional comma before the word ‘and’ at the end of a list: We […]