An ad with three — that’s right, three! — lessons in one

From the world of online deals comes this marvel: the world’s smallest iPad case. That’s right, folks. This case is so small that it shrinks your iPad to the size of an iPhone. It’s so small that you can Photoshop...

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Commas have power. Use them, and use them wisely.

A few years ago, Robert Samuelson lamented the declining use of the comma, suggesting that its abandonment was a metaphor for the impatience of modern life. He’s right, I think, and even more so today. Like Samuelson, I think commas...

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Thanks to the classifieds, I’ve learned to print sandwiches

Commas are wonderfully versatile marks. With a downward flick of your right ring finger (for touch typists, anyway), a tiny little comma flits onto the screen and separates words and phrases. Flick. Another comma appears, and you’ve created an independent clause. Flick....

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Death, life and the Oxford comma (or not)

  Let’s talk for a few minutes about overreaction. Earlier in the week, the book industry site GalleyCat reported that the Oxford University public relations department had urged writers to generally avoid the Oxford comma. The Oxford comma, of course, is the...

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The weak in review: Typos, solar-powered birds and the American mind

  It’s spring, and a grizzled editor’s fancy turns to thoughts of the bizarre.   (If you were expecting love, try Tennyson, who looks far more grizzled than I.)   On Friday, for instance, The New York Times wrote soberly about the Untied States....

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