In this house, we respect and hold to the Oxford comma. We believe its existence is essential for clear communication and AP Style is inferior because of its omission.
But what if I told you that we’ve gone beyond opinion? What if here in the States a missing Oxford comma now holds legal implications, and its exclusion can cost a lot? Well, we Oxford comma disciples have recently won a great victory. Thanks to a 2017 ruling from The State of Maine we now have a legal precedent for the inclusion of our beloved Oxford comma as this handy video from Half as Interesting explains.
Huzzah! Long live the Oxford Comma! Long live our Punctuation Champion of the World!
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Today Boing Boing shared this great interview/documentary with Roald Dahl from 1982—one where he gives a little tour of his writing “hut,” shares insight into his interests, and talks about his daily routine. After watching, I knew I had to share it here as well. I’ve always been fascinated by other writer’s spaces and routines I think where and how we work—be it a shed, a hut, a home office, a coffee shop, or a nook—says a lot about us as creators.
If you want to know more about Dahl’s hut, there’s a great article from the BBC that details it even further. Apparently, it was inspired by Welsh poet Dylan Thomas’ own space which is also detailed in the piece. It’s worth checking out.
Dahl’s hut is now apart of the Roald Dahl Museum in Great Missenden, England.
I initially saw this posted over on Scalzi’s blog—but didn’t get a chance to watch it until last night. I recommend reading John’s thoughts on the video as well (Linked above.)
It’s no secret I’m a big fan of Lindsey Ellis’ work—and I thought she did an excellent job tackling Roland Barthes’ La mort de l’auteur and the concept/dialog surrounding authorial intent as a whole. I particularly like the focus on authors working in today’s brand-focused social media-driven world. It’s very much worth a watch.
I’ve been running a series of post called Raunch Reviews where I examine the effectiveness of fictional swearing. While doing some research for a few upcoming posts, I came across this Vsauce video from 2013 does an outstanding job of breaking down the evolution of language and how it influenced modern profanity. If you’re interested in etymology it’s very much worth spending the ten minutes to give it a watch.
The Steven Pinker lecture mentioned in the video, ‘The Stuff of Thought: Language as a window into human nature,’ is an even more in-depth breakdown of the history and evolution of cursing. It’s long but worth watching if you have the time. Probably not at work though, I would flag it NSFW even though it’s an academic lecture on swearing. So consider yourself warned if that’s a problem.
I quite enjoyed this delightful little video that accompanied Gareth Smit’s article in the New Yorker regarding “The Odd Literary Paraphernalia of the New York Public Library’s Berg Collection.” It’s worth a watch and a read on a pleasant Friday afternoon.
Rest in peace, Harlan Ellison. You incredibly complex man, you.
I’ve seen many good folks sharing all sorts of stories about Ellison. Three that stuck out: John Scalzi’s piece for the LA Times, Neil Gaiman’s heartfelt blog post about their friendship, and this wild thread where Ellison publically plans a conspiracy to commit murder at Dragon Con. I’m sure there are many more.
If you are interested in reading Ellison’s work (there’s a reason he’s an SFWA Grand Master), I recommend starting with either I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream or Repent, Harlequin!” Said the Ticktockman. He also wrote the greatest episode of Star Trek ever.