Sunday, January 31, 2010

Three Things I Believe: Grammar

1. I believe one should always spell out the word "okay." OK seems so...unpleasant and gruff.

2. I believe in the serial/Oxford comma. Without it, one ends up thusly:

My favorite sandwiches are turkey, ham, pastrami and peanut butter.

That's ridiculous! Nobody likes pastrami AND peanut butter.

My favorite sandwiches are turkey, ham, pastrami, and peanut butter.

Much better!

(Aside: For the record, there is only one acceptable PB&J sandwich. Strawberry jelly + Jif Extra Crunchy on Honey Wheat. The end.)

3. I believe that when a word ends in S, the correct way to make it possessive is to add an apostrophe to the end. None of this new-fangled (probably socialist) apostrophe S nonsense.

Correct: That is Tomas' bobsled!

Incorrect: That is Tomas's bobsled!

(Aside: Another way to make it possessive is to let it see other words getting attention from attractive gerunds. Only then will it realize that you don't know what you've got until it's gone. Just ask Cinderella. The band, not the cartoon.)


  1. Agree on the addition s issue, but my feelings on the Oxford comma are well-established: I do not care for it. I'd refer you to the seminal work "Oxford Comma" by a little known band called Vampire Weekend for my reasoning.

    Also, the NYT does not use Oxford commas.

  2. I believe that all of these are the exact opposite of what you taught us in journalism. Well done.