The Oxford comma, otherwise known as a serial comma, is an optional comma placed before the final “and” in a list. Its use is more stylistic than strictly necessary, but it can be helpful to clarify meanings.Continue Reading
A proofreader read a manuscript of mine recently and inserted dozens of hyphens. She was clearly a bigger fan of them than me, although I did agree with her that great-grandmother should, after all, be hyphenated to make it clear you mean the mother of someone’s grandmother and not just a grandmother who’s a good egg. But I didn’t go along with all her hyphenating suggestions, feeling that some of them were simply unnecessary.
Then, in my super-hyphen-aware state I read The Maltese Falcon (originally published in 1930) and couldn’t help noticing hyphens popping up all over the place like they were going out of fashion. For example:Continue Reading
Sensuous and sensual sound very similar and are often used interchangeably, but, strictly speaking, have subtly different meanings.Continue Reading