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By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | June 17, 2014
For the connoisseur of pointless, time-wasting debates, online wrangling over the Oxford comma is hard to surpass.  Today, at FiveThirtyEight , Walt Hickey attempts to provide a perspective on this vast and useless literature , in the course of which he quotes me (!) and my learned colleague Merrill Perlman as authorities.  FiveThirtyEight  is, of course, data-driven, and in addition to quoting Merrill and me, it conducted a poll, which identified two suggestive phenomena.
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NEWS
By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | June 30, 2014
First there was a brouhaha about the Oxford comma, prompted by a post at FiveThirtyEight  in which I was quoted. (Click here  for my post on the subject and its link to the original article.) Then screams of outrage on Twitter  followed an article by Roy Peter Clark defending the use of the passive voice. (Click here to read what I had  previously posted on the subject.*)  I appreciate editors who have undertaken the effort to master the Associated Press Stylebook  (which is more than writers for the Associated Press trouble to do)
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NEWS
By Mike Bowler and Mike Bowler,SUN STAFF | September 21, 1997
TOWSON UNIVERSITY has been "branded," according to a news release received a few days ago from Interbrand, a New York firm specializing in corporate images.The release described Interbrand's creation of a "new identity" for Towson, one designed to "reposition the university from a local, government-funded educational institution to an established, prominent university well-equipped to compete internationally for first-class professors, students and funding."Interbrand's Cassidy Morgan added: "The new identity embodies a new vision and direction for the university -- learning for life."
NEWS
By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | June 17, 2014
For the connoisseur of pointless, time-wasting debates, online wrangling over the Oxford comma is hard to surpass.  Today, at FiveThirtyEight , Walt Hickey attempts to provide a perspective on this vast and useless literature , in the course of which he quotes me (!) and my learned colleague Merrill Perlman as authorities.  FiveThirtyEight  is, of course, data-driven, and in addition to quoting Merrill and me, it conducted a poll, which identified two suggestive phenomena.
NEWS
By Joan Jacobson and Joan Jacobson,SUN STAFF | November 14, 2001
A Baltimore police sergeant testified in court yesterday that fellow officer Joseph P. Comma Jr. confessed to breaking into a secret internal affairs office in December, a break-in investigators allege was motivated by Comma's desire to get even with his bosses because of a transfer. Sgt. Kelvin Sewell told Baltimore County Circuit Judge Robert N. Dugan that Comma told him on Jan. 1: "`I don't want you to go down for what I did. I did the break-in.'" Comma was a nine-year veteran of the city Police Department last spring when he was charged with burglary, theft and malicious destruction of property in the December break-in of the internal affairs office on the grounds of the Back River Sewage Treatment Plant in Baltimore County.
NEWS
By Joan Jacobson and Joan Jacobson,SUN STAFF | February 16, 2002
Baltimore County prosecutors dropped all charges yesterday against a city police officer accused of breaking into the department's secret internal affairs office. In exchange, Officer Joseph P. Comma Jr. resigned. Comma was charged with burglary, theft and malicious destruction of property in connection with the break-in, which took place in December 2000 at the internal affairs office on the grounds of the Back River Sewage Treatment Plant in Eastpoint. Assistant State's Attorney Frank Meyer, chief of the county's investigations division, said yesterday that the charges were dropped after consultations with the city Police Department.
FEATURES
By Kristine Henry,
The Baltimore Sun
| April 25, 2013
It's Bring Your Child to Work Day. Or Take Your Kid to Work Day. Or maybe officially " Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work " day. Whatever it's called, my kids are at school. They see me on the computer enough as it is, and I have a feeling they wouldn't be too excited by what I'm actually doing most of the time. "See this comma? It's called a serial comma and we're going to delete it. And the abbreviation for California should actually be Calif., not CA. We call that 'AP style,' honey!"
NEWS
By Peter Hermann and Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF | March 13, 2001
A Baltimore police officer kicked out of Internal Affairs after a domestic incident was arrested yesterday and charged in the December break-in at the department's secret anti-corruption office. Officer Joseph P. Comma Jr., 33, a nine-year veteran who has been on stress-related leave for at least the past month, was taken into custody about noon at a 7-Eleven convenience store in Northeast Baltimore. Police officials said they believe the break-in was the work of a disgruntled worker trying to get even with bosses for transferring him out of the Internal Affairs' Integrity Unit because of domestic troubles.
NEWS
By Julia Keller and Julia Keller,CHICAGO TRIBUNE | June 26, 1999
Once dismissed as a fussy, somewhat effete affectation, the white-gloved cousin to the callused, workaholic comma or brutally abrupt period, the semicolon might be coming into its own.Most people, truth to tell, seem somewhat intimidated by the semicolon; it smacks of deep thoughts and book-lined studies, of long, thoughtful pauses accompanied by rhythmic strokes of the chin. The marks are "so pipe-smokingly Indo-European," essayist Nicholas Baker wrote.Hence, semicolons historically were deftly avoided.
NEWS
June 30, 1997
GET READY to pig-out on such tasty munchies as corn chips, pork rinds, popped popcorn, nuts and that all-time favorite, the potato chip. Starting tomorrow, Maryland's 5 percent sales tax no longer applies to snack food sold at grocery stores and in vending machines.For the health-conscious among us, this isn't news to applaud. But for the jobs-conscious in the Annapolis State House, this step is an extremely healthy one, since officials at Frito-Lay's big plant in Harford County had tied expansion there -- with 650 new jobs -- to repeal of Maryland's "snack tax."
NEWS
By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | May 8, 2013
Yesterday, in reviewing Bill Walsh's Yes, I Could Care Less , I remarked that Mr. Walsh's describing himself as a stickler was not the happiest choice of terms. In fact, when I checked the Visual Thesaurus today, the most immediate synonyms offered were martinet , moralist , and disciplinarian , to which it might not be a great leap to reach pedant . We who labor humbly to correct the faults of our fellows have learned not to expect admiration, or, for that matter, gratitude.
FEATURES
By Kristine Henry,
The Baltimore Sun
| April 25, 2013
It's Bring Your Child to Work Day. Or Take Your Kid to Work Day. Or maybe officially " Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work " day. Whatever it's called, my kids are at school. They see me on the computer enough as it is, and I have a feeling they wouldn't be too excited by what I'm actually doing most of the time. "See this comma? It's called a serial comma and we're going to delete it. And the abbreviation for California should actually be Calif., not CA. We call that 'AP style,' honey!"
SPORTS
By Kevin Van Valkenburg | May 7, 2011
Ever dreamed of owning a Kentucky Derby horse? Plenty of people have, but the buy-in price typically scares them off. Still, if you catch a horse at auction at the right time, and if you have the right eye to identify talent, you can do it without completely emptying your checkbook. Bloodhorse,com, a website that covers the horse racing industry as well as any publication out there, published a list this week showing all the prices the qualifiers for the Kentucky Derby field fetched at auction (at least those that were ever offered for public auction)
NEWS
By Annie Linskey and Annie Linskey,annie.linskey@baltsun.com | October 8, 2009
Baltimore City Councilwoman Helen L. Holton appeared in Circuit Court on Wednesday to listen as her defense attorneys argued that the campaign finance charges against her should be dropped. Holton, a deacon, clutched what appeared to be a Bible and sat with family members during the 90-minute hearing. She declined to comment afterward. The West Baltimore councilwoman is charged with conspiracy to violate campaign limits by requesting that developers John Paterakis and Ronald H. Lipscomb fund a $12,500 poll for her re-election campaign.
NEWS
March 7, 2004
PUT DOWN those blue pencils and slowly step away, the Treasury Department has told U.S. editors and publishers. Don't change that paragraph, that comma - unless it's one penned by an author from an approved country. Who are they trying to kid? Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control has sent letters out warning that copy from Iranian authors cannot be edited without permission from the department because Iran is under a U.S. trade embargo. Other embargoed countries include Cuba, North Korea and Sudan.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Sarah Lyall and Sarah Lyall,New York Times News Service | January 11, 2004
LONDON -- Lynne Truss was on her way to deliver a lecture at the British Library recently when she was reminded yet again that a tremendous gap exists between her natural obsessions and those of other people. "Punctuation," Truss replied, when her taxi driver asked what she planned to talk about. But the word didn't compute; he heard something less weird in his head. "Ooh, in that case," he replied, "I better get you there on time!" So it has been a shock to the rarefied system of Truss, 48, that her book Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation, has become a surprise No. 1 best-seller here.
ENTERTAINMENT
By James Coates and James Coates,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | August 1, 2002
My Microsoft Outlook address book is getting bigger and bigger. If my computer had a meltdown, it would be very difficult to build up all those e-mail addresses again. I would like to make a backup to floppy disk. Both the Outlook module of Microsoft Office and the far more common Outlook Express have a pair of built-in commands that will let you make backup copies of all of your contact lists. Click on the File item in the Outlook or Outlook Express toolbar and you will find Import and Export commands.
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | May 15, 2003
There's a scene in Margaret Edson's 1999 Pulitzer Prize-winning play Wit in which a professor vehemently defends the use of a modest comma over a "hysterical" semicolon in the last line of the John Donne sonnet beginning, "Death be not proud." When punctuated properly, "Nothing but a breath - a comma - separates life from life everlasting," she explains. This may sound like nitpicking, but that comma, that breath, is the brief space in which Wit takes place. The play is an account of the valiant but futile battle waged by Vivian Bearing, a world-class John Donne scholar, against stage four metastatic ovarian cancer; there is no stage five, as she matter-of-factly informs us. Dedicated to literary research, Vivian now becomes equally dedicated to being a medical guinea pig. But as she discovers, studying and being studied are very different pursuits.
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | May 15, 2003
There's a scene in Margaret Edson's 1999 Pulitzer Prize-winning play Wit in which a professor vehemently defends the use of a modest comma over a "hysterical" semicolon in the last line of the John Donne sonnet beginning, "Death be not proud." When punctuated properly, "Nothing but a breath - a comma - separates life from life everlasting," she explains. This may sound like nitpicking, but that comma, that breath, is the brief space in which Wit takes place. The play is an account of the valiant but futile battle waged by Vivian Bearing, a world-class John Donne scholar, against stage four metastatic ovarian cancer; there is no stage five, as she matter-of-factly informs us. Dedicated to literary research, Vivian now becomes equally dedicated to being a medical guinea pig. But as she discovers, studying and being studied are very different pursuits.
ENTERTAINMENT
By James Coates and James Coates,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | August 1, 2002
My Microsoft Outlook address book is getting bigger and bigger. If my computer had a meltdown, it would be very difficult to build up all those e-mail addresses again. I would like to make a backup to floppy disk. Both the Outlook module of Microsoft Office and the far more common Outlook Express have a pair of built-in commands that will let you make backup copies of all of your contact lists. Click on the File item in the Outlook or Outlook Express toolbar and you will find Import and Export commands.
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