Do we really care that the italic typeface was invented by a geezer called Aldus Manutius the Elder (1449-1515)? He pulls out a gun, fires a shot in the air, and heads toward the exit. To an insurance coverage attorney, this opinion is not revolutionary, but is rather further confirmation of general insurance policy interpretation principles. … Who needs it???? Thank you for your patience. Mine is going straight to the nearest charity shop. You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition. Reviewed in the United States on December 21, 2019. And, quite clearly, 'passionate' is doing the same kind of work in the sentence as 'charming' and 'elegant'. Fifty-seven per cent were for the Oxford comma. I don’t think you need this comma. In one spread, the sentence on the left (Look at that huge hot dog!) The holding hinged on the meaning of “packing for shipment or distribution”—more specifically, how to interpret this clause when there was no comma preceding the words “or distribution.” With the comma, they likely would have lost. For example, "Let's eat, grandma!" © Copyright 2020 The Globe and Mail Inc. All rights reserved. Required fields are marked *. This shopping feature will continue to load items when the Enter key is pressed. In a recent insurance case our firm handled, Lion Oil Company v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA, the structure and use of clarifying punctuation in the policy resulted in the insurer’s liability for “service interruption coverage” when an oil refinery’s crude oil supply line burst, leading to large contingent business interruption losses for the refinery. The dairy drivers successfully argued they do not. First published on Sun 9 Nov 2003 00.51 GMT, Eats, Shoots and LeavesBy Lynne TrussProfile Books, £9.99, pp209. Eats shoots, and leaves. ", Truss says she uses the Oxford comma sparingly, but when she feels like using it she fights for it. I only wish it were longer. Wait, that should be, "Lets eat, Grandma!" The illustrations show what hilariously horrendous things can happen when you use poor grammar. The Maine overtime statute states that an employer cannot force an employee to work more than 40 hours a week unless the employee is compensated 1½ times his or her regular hourly rate for work performed in excess of 40 hours. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to, To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. To recap, the Oxford (or serial) comma is the comma that precedes the concluding "and" or "or" in a list of more than two elements: apples, peaches, and pears. Having read the adult version of this book, I am highly disappointed. But the target was less the comma itself than it was people with pretensions, "all your diction dripping with disdain." We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. I, as a former English teacher, recognize that! [a deer eats shoots, leaves, and bark] is quite clear (a multiple list, in contrast to the preceding which has only two items the critter eats] IMO the big problem with the “a panda eats, shoots and leaves” construction is the first comma. She tells - while we're on the subject of commas (sorry, again, about these dashes Lynne) - a marvellous story about New Yorker editor Harold Ross, who liked to put commas in far-flung places, rather in the spirit of a British mountaineer scattering the Union flag in remote corners of the Himalayas. There are wonderfully funny drawings on each page to emphasize exactly what each sentence means so readers can grasp exactly what is wrong. "In Britain, where standard usage is to leave it out, there are those who put it in - including, interestingly, Fowler's Modern English Usage. Endnotes elaborate on comma usage in more technical terms. At the end of the book, there is a two-page, illustrated spread titled Why These Commas Really Do Make A Difference. While a title on grammar may need hand selling, both read-aloud audiences and independent readers will discover the potent possibilities of punctuation. However, some people favor the Oxford (or Harvard) comma. Lynne!!!!!!! A few readers referred to the catchy 2008 song Oxford Comma by the pop group Vampire Weekend. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. For each set of sentences, there are thumbnails of the illustrations and an explanation of the function of the comma(s) in the sentences. I suspect this is partly because of the way they have been taught in the past, and I have found that presenting the information in a new and often humorous way helps students assimilate learning they have missed in previous years. Lynne Truss is a writer and journalist who started out as a literary editor with a blue pencil and then got sidetracked. ... if I had added a comma after 'elegant' it would be known as an Oxford comma. And people who ignore it, like Marinetti, the futurist, or Gertrude Stein, the_ er_ writer, are generally full of shit. Lynne Truss's book is (stay with this sentence, and remember the function of punctuation is to 'tango the reader into the pauses, inflections, continuities and connections that the spoken word would convey') as much an argument for clear thinking as it is a pedantic defence of obsolete conventions of written language. I did not add it … 'This particular comma,' Thurber explained, 'was Ross's way of giving the men time to push back their chairs and stand up.'.

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