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  • For Want of an Oxford Comma

    Published: 7/12/2016
    The minor yet highly controversial issue of the Oxford Comma (or serial comma) arises solely in one very restricted context: what is known in classical grammar as a monosyndetic multiple coordination ... Read more
  • Researching ‘Research’

    Published: 6/12/2016
    Some pronunciation shifts are squarely on my radar. For example, I feel like I am hearing more and more people pronounce the noun program with a schwa in the second syllable. For me, the second syllab ... Read more
  • Who You Calling ‘Snowflake’?

    Published: 5/12/2016
    After the presidential election, a Montclair, N.J., store owner invited some like-minded souls to paint a mural on the boarded-up windows of her shop: a multicolored heart and, under a rainbow, the wo ... Read more
  • Post-Truth and Chaos

    Published: 2/12/2016
    I don’t know when prefixes stopped meaning what we think they mean, but it was a long time ago. I’m just wrapping up a course in recent American prose, for instance, where the term postmodernism keeps ... Read more
  • Travails With My ‘Aunt’

    Published: 1/12/2016
    Simon says “ahnt” I’ve written before about a trend I first noticed in my students, then observed in the wider world: eschewing the common or standard spelling, pronunciation, or ver ... Read more
  • ‘Arrival’: Just Say Yes

    Published: 29/11/2016
    Spoiler alert: I will make no attempt to avoid revealing plot points as I discuss the celebrated recent science-fiction movie Arrival . First, I figure if you’re destined to see it you’ve ... Read more