Comma Queen

2 seasons, 32 episodes

Mary Norris on language in all its facets.

Season Two

Culture A Christmassy Carol Move over, Charles Dickens! Before we close up shop, here’s a special lesson for a well-edited holiday season.
Culture As You Like It Figures of speech are often introduced by “like” or “as.” What is the difference, and why do we care?
Culture Further or Farther? Which will take you farther? (Or is it further?) Authorities make a distinction, but sometimes the boundaries bleed.
Books Affect vs. Effect “Affect”  is a verb, and “effect” is a noun—except when it’s the other way around.
Culture How to Punctuate Your (Parentheses) Mary Norris, the Comma Queen, explains the order of operations for punctuation marks in asides and afterthoughts.
Culture Pronouns for Pets Some people are bothered by the use of “that” instead of “who” when the relative pronoun refers to a person, not a thing. Is there grammar for cats?
Culture NONE: Singular or plural? Comma Queen washes ashore, proclaims “none” has undergone a sea change.
Culture Excuse Me! Your Participle Is Dangling Danglers come in many forms. What are they dangling from? And how do you tuck them into place?
Culture That vs. Which Which is which? What is that? Sorting out the relative pronouns.
Culture Selfies Want to sound pompous? Use the reflexive pronoun.
Culture On “Impact” Prescriptivists dislike the use of “impact” as a verb, preferring a wordier alternative.
Culture The Illustrious Ampersand Developed from the Latin et (“and”), the ampersand, formerly the twenty-seventh letter of the alphabet, is a character with a cult following among students of typography.
Culture The Singular “Their,” Part Two As a singular gender-neutral pronoun, how might “they” work out?
Culture The Singular “Their” Many ACES stalwarts—copy editors, journalists, grammarians, lexicographers, and linguists—stand ready to embrace the singular “their.” But not us. We avoid it whenever we can.
Culture “Awesome” is the new “massive” Purists have been trying to hold the line on “massive” for close to a century, with a remarkable—one might even say massive—lack of success.
Culture The Importance of Serial Commas The serial comma, also known as the Oxford comma, is the one before “and” in a series of three or more.