Editing or writing something and can’t find a word in Merriam-Webster, American Heritage, or the Oxford English Dictionary? Don’t freak out and don’t (necessarily) delete it.
Yes, sometimes you mean something literally–but most of the time you don’t.
Too cute not to share. Who would ever think of writing a short story about a comma’s woes? Answer: this blogger.
The comma stood on the corner, bleating, “Please, can someone help me? I know I belong somewhere, but I can’t quite remember where.”
Devon Taylor, copy editor, sat at the counter of the diner counter across the street and watched as passers-by skittered around the pitiful punctuation mark. They looked away determined to not notice it.
Devon (destined to become The Nib) couldn’t really blame them. Commas were notoriously slippery creatures. But there was something about this comma that made Devon think it was truly in trouble.
The editor set down the empty coffee cup and wandered across the street.
“What brings you to Conjunctionville?” Devon asked the punctuation mark.
“Oh! Thank you for helping,” the comma was practically hopping. “I think I’m supposed to meet a couple of independent clauses for a job, but I can’t remember all the details. It was supposed to be…
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OK, the dispute is really over the lack of a comma–a serial or Oxford comma to be exact. Continue reading “Legal Dispute … Over a Comma?”
My hair is longer than my sister.
OK, maybe this one is kind of obvious: The comparison is between one’s hair and the height of one’s sister, not the length of the sister’s hair. Of course if you’re an adult and your sister is a baby this might be true, but let’s assume that wasn’t the sentence’s intention.