Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the war against improper commas

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According to CNN, Mike Pompeo wants all State Department staff to stop using commas improperly. This obviously warrants all of our attention. The article, snarkily titled “Pompeo cracks down, on improper use, of commas at State Department,” reveals that Pompeo is an admirer of the Chicago Manual of Style and the Oxford Comma, also known … Continued

The hidden mental models behind the fight over the Oxford comma

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A nasty, permanent spat burns in the heart of analysts of the English language. It’s the fight over the need for the Oxford or serial comma — for example, do you really need the final comma in the phrase “passive voice, weasel words, and jargon”? Now that a court in Maine has decided a case based on the … Continued