Saturday, September 23, 2006

New grammar column in the Globe and Mail

Last Thursday, novelist, fashion writer, and host of CBC Radio's summer language show, "And Sometimes Y", Russell Smith began a new column in the Globe and Mail called On Grammar. In the first week, he takes a pragmatic view on comma usage.
"Fewer commas are being used in contemporary writing. (In technical terms, there has long been a schism between "open punctuation," which uses punctuation only as necessary to prevent misinterpretation, and the more traditional "closed punctuation," which is meticulous in matching every grammatical situation with its appropriate markings. Most magazines use open punctuation now.) This, again, is just a question of modern tastes -- once again, it comes down to aesthetics."
(Thanks to Joe Aversa for pointing this out to me.)

[added Jan 12, 2007: The column has turned out to be rather poor. See here.]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Still, this does not defeat my long-standing view that writers should learn the rules before they begin to break/abandon them. If you don't know how to use the comma in the first place, you don't know how/why to leave it out in the end.