So now I’m “fussy and old-fashioned”? Darn it, I like hyphens, (ironic there was a hyphen in “old-fashioned” there) and cannot condone this willy-nilly abandonment of same. And here’s one reason why: “Skipping hyphens has become a popular branding trend…”

New York Times Updates Stylebook–and Puts Some Hyphens to Rest




Restrictive vs. nonrestrictive elements: what’s wrong with this picture?

Screen shot 2013-10-06 at 7.47.10 PM

Actually a kind of interesting article about Einstein’s corpus callosum (and did you know he died of a ruptured aneurysm?). But our business here is the comma. The ones around “Dean Falk” don’t belong. “Dean Falk” is restrictive/essential information here. There are (one presumes) plenty of evolutionary anthropologists (which also, btw, I wouldn’t cap, but maybe that’s The Las Vegas Guardian Express house style), and, therefore, “Dean Falk” is not parenthetical information. It is essential information to clarify which evolutionary anthropologist The Las Vegas Guardian Express is referring to.

Just a comma convention. No crimes have been committed here.

National Punctuation Day — better late than never

My general state of behinditude continues apace, so here are some belated National Punctuation Day tidbits:

From The New Yorker, a Page Turner post from the always-delightful Mary Norris: “My own candidate for Punctuation Mark of the Year would be the much-maligned apostrophe.”

Which brings us to Keith Houston’s new book, Shady Characters: The Secret Life of Punctuation, Symbols & Other Typographical Marksas well as a contributor of his own Page Turner post, on the octothorpe, the pilcrow, the ampersand, and more (do not even suggest to me that you can resist clicking through to this post. I mean, my god, the pilcrow! The octothorpe! The diple, people!

Which further brings us to Houston’s three part (!) (I’m having palpitations) piece on the Lexicon Valley blog on Slate, “The Rise and Fall of the Pilcrow” (Part 1) and (Part 2) and “The Mysterious Manicule” (Part 3)