Sunday, August 12, 2012

Don't forget your commas!

By Kimberly Cionca (Bronx, NY)

One learns a lot in the newsroom. I’m not just referring to standard lessons on news writing or editing, but instead extremely eccentric ones.

For example, our counselor Chan taught me about the Oxford comma. For those who don’t know, it is a comma that precedes the last conjunction in a list.

I’m sure this will clarify any further uncertainties:

You probably didn’t see that coming your way.

While some people highly support the comma for additional clarity - such as The Chicago Manual of Style (2010) and our very own Richard Just - others think it’s unnecessary. Who ever said English was simple? So here’s my advice: have it your way.

Later, during my editing experience with Katie I learned of yet another odd, but strangely fascinating thing. Katie was editing my Op-Ed about feminism and the impact of a woman’s attire on the cause, which reminded her of a French festival. Brace yourself. In order to combat any prejudices directed toward females, girls in France are encouraged to wear exceptionally short skirts during the festival to make a statement.

Check it out for yourself. It’s referred to as Le Printemps de la Jupe et du Respect- Spring of the Skirt and Respect - or as I understand it, the French festival of skirts.

They always said effective teaching is fun.

If one thing is for sure, it’s that a day never goes by without learning something new here at SJP.

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