Comma Queen

2 seasons, 32 episodes

Mary Norris on language in all its facets.

Season Two

Culture

Move over, Charles Dickens! Before we close up shop, here’s a special lesson for a well-edited holiday season.

Culture

Figures of speech are often introduced by “like” or “as.” What is the difference, and why do we care?

Culture

Which will take you farther? (Or is it further?) Authorities make a distinction, but sometimes the boundaries bleed.

Books

“Affect”  is a verb, and “effect” is a noun—except when it’s the other way around.

Culture

Mary Norris, the Comma Queen, explains the order of operations for punctuation marks in asides and afterthoughts.

Culture

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

Comma Queen washes ashore, proclaims “none” has undergone a sea change.

Culture

Danglers come in many forms. What are they dangling from? And how do you tuck them into place?

Culture

Which is which? What is that? Sorting out the relative pronouns.

Culture

Want to sound pompous? Use the reflexive pronoun.

Culture

Prescriptivists dislike the use of “impact” as a verb, preferring a wordier alternative.

Culture

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

As a singular gender-neutral pronoun, how might “they” work out?

Culture

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

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 serial comma, also known as the Oxford comma, is the one before “and” in a series of three or more.