Holy Writ

There is a lovely article written by Mary Norris, a copyeditor for The New Yorker (http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/02/23/holy-writ) that follows her from her peripatetic beginnings to her deep understanding of the subtleties of editing, particularly with respect to the comma. Commas and their presence or absence in a sentence, she insists, are not necessarily bound by rules, even those in The Chicago Manual of Style, before which most of us bow. It is such a pleasure to read her musings, especially since I agree with her, because it allows some personal “editorial discretion” in our work. Ironically, the subtitle, “Learning to Love the House Style,” suggests otherwise. Ms. Norris, the lucky duck, can call these authors and ask them their intent. The rest of us have to guess.

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