How To Use a Comma

by on June 6, 2012 in Must Reads with No Comments »


The New York Times has always been good at coming up with intellectually relatable witty titles for the articles it posts to its website, and University of Delaware Professor Ben Yagoda’s recent post, “The Most Comma Mistakes,” is no exception. Now, before you do anything else, take a second look at the sentence you just read. You will notice that it is rather long (40 words) but that it contains only three commas. “How can that be?” you might wonder. “The longer a sentence is, the more commas it needs, right?” Well, that isn’t necessarily incorrect, but it’s not correct either. In fact, it’s one of those things people think is true when they don’t actually have any idea about what they’re talking about. For the truth is that if everyone took a moment to learn the basic rules of comma usage, they would find that it’s not all that difficult to master.

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The Importance of Reading

by on February 2, 2012 in Must Reads with 1 Comment »


Introduction

One of the things I stress to all my students is the importance of reading outside of the classroom. Typically, we connote “pleasure” (or “leisure”) reading, as it’s so often referred to, with reading something simple and easy, like the sports page or a detective thriller. And while there is nothing wrong with catching up on the latest Girl with the Dragon Tattoo installment or getting some critical commentary about the Knicks’ woes, it is imminently possible to enjoy—or, dare I say, be entertained by—a somewhat more intellectual/educational reading. On that note, allow me to suggest Stanley Fish’s blog on the New York Times website.

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