Its generic name is the serial (or series) comma, but a lot of people refer to it by a fancier name: Oxford comma.
Anyone who learned to type on a QWERTY keyboard would be excused for thinking the semicolon is the most important mark of punctuation in English; why else would it be sitting right there on the home row?
In 1929, when the song “Ain’t Misbehavin’ ” became a big hit, composers Thomas “Fats” Waller and Harry Brooks probably weren’t too worried about that final apostrophe.
A few weeks ago at my local library I came across a novel I’d been wanting to read. I didn’t have time for another book, but I took it home anyway.
Microsoft Word does a lot of things automatically, and it does them by default. Some of these interventions are welcome. But to a copyeditor, Word’s meddling can be dangerous.
One of the goals of Fiction+ has been to encourage writers and editors to leave the stylebook behind whenever it gets in the way of creative expression.
When it comes to punctuation, there’s a difference between formal prose and creative writing.
If you follow Chicago style, it’s a safe bet you know that a Chicago-style ellipsis consists of three spaced periods. You probably also know . . .
A comma is normally placed before a coordinating conjunction (and, but, or, so, yet) that joins two independent subject-verb clauses—that is, clauses that could stand on their own as complete sentences. . . .
Parentheses can be used almost anywhere, but they are rarely seen in fictional dialogue or in quoted speech of any kind. The problem with parentheses in dialogue is that readers may not know exactly how to interpret them. . . .