The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

October 26, 2016
by Dan
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Proofreader’s Marks

Grant Snider.

June 20, 2016
by Dan
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Punctuation

Grant Snider has drawn a lovely series of cartoons on punctuation for The New Yorker.      

August 7, 2015
by Dan
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Comma Queen: Mad Dash

The New Yorker‘s Mary Norris, author Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen, clarifies the difference between the hyphen (-), the en dash (–), and the em dash (—):

March 31, 2015
by Dan
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Comma Queen: Possessed

In the second episode of The New Yorker‘s Comma Queen video series, copy editor Mary Norris tackles using an apostrophe to form the possessive:   I am one of those people who annoy Norris by dropping the ‘s’ after the apostrophe … Continue reading

March 11, 2015
by Dan
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Comma Queen

The New Yorker has launched a new video series “devoted to language in all its facets” called Comma Queen. In the first episode, copy editor Mary Norris talks about commas, the “little squiggle” with “a history rich in controversy”:   On a related note, … Continue reading

February 25, 2015
by Dan
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Learning to Love the House Style

In a long and charming essay for The New Yorker, the magazine’s query proofreader Mary Norris muses on her career, and the history and uses of the comma: Then I was allowed to work on the copydesk. It changed the way I read prose—I … Continue reading

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