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NEWS
By Marc LeGoff | October 10, 1990
Having suffered through various viruses, chest colds and allergies this summer, I now seem to be afflicted with a new, mysterious malady known as "obsessive possessive compulsive disorder."Although not a true physical ailment, obsessive possessive compulsive behavior is more like a neurosis. Its major symptom is a need to attach apostrophes to words or proper names that seem to show possession, but do not have the proper punctuation.Howard County is full of such inconsistencies. Take the Village of Kings Contrivance for example.
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NEWS
By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | May 7, 2014
Print is another country, and from the time we first discover the correspondences between the world of the senses and the shapes of letters, we explore a parallel landscape.  Speech we begin to learn before we can even walk, but reading and writing take years of application. It used to be even harder, as Keith Houston describes in Shady Characters: The Secret Life of Punctuation, Symbols & Other Typographical Marks  (W.W. Norton, 340 pages, $25.95):  "The orthographic world of ancient Greece was a sparse old place.
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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
By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | April 3, 2014
If you are on Facebook, you are aware that annoying features keep popping up inviting you to identify which Peanuts character you are, which Star Trek figure you are, what animal, vegetable, or mineral you would be, or the like. Rather than a piecemeal approach, here's a thorough inventory of my answers. What color are you? Charcoal gray Which fabric are you? Tweed What brown liquor are you? Bourbon Which antacid are you?
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.
NEWS
By Will Englund and Will Englund,SUN FOREIGN STAFF | February 7, 1998
MOSCOW - The muttered curses of taxpayers hang heavily in the moist air that rises from their overcoats in the lobby of Savings Bank No. 01594. Strong young men knead their wrists in agony. Nearsighted grandmothers grumble in frustration.Russia had such trouble collecting taxes that revenues fell last year to 66 percent of what had been expected. Now the government has just made it even harder for people to pay them.Let Americans complain about the cascade of forms and schedules they must fill out for income taxes.
NEWS
By Julia Keller and By Julia Keller,CHICAGO TRIBUNE | May 18, 2001
As punctuation marks go, it's hard to top the asterisk - because the asterisk is there to top everything else. The asterisk always gets the last word. It adds a dubious, "Well, yes, but ..." The asterisk is the elbow in the ribs, the wink, the smirk, the disclaimer, the qualification. It's hard to love the asterisk, just as it's hard to love a smarty-pants showoff. The asterisk looks like a tick on the page and, fittingly, often seems to suck the lifeblood out of a bold, forthright statement by sly insinuation: "Let's not be too hasty," the asterisk implies.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Pakenham | May 16, 2004
Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation, by Lynne Truss. Gotham, 240 pages. $17.50. From time to joyful time, up pops a fad of such enchanting improbability as to endorse the dubious proposition that spontaneous wit is immortal. Such was, of course, the Pet Rock, an utterly useless outrage that made millions and delighted more. Winnie the Pooh in Latin, a generation ago or more, was snapped up by tens of thousands of readers who remembered barely a word of the dead tongue, if ever indeed they had known one. Now comes this delicious, unpretentious, thoroughly serious and consistently delightful manual on punctuation.
NEWS
July 5, 2011
Each week The Sun's John McIntyre presents a moderately obscure but evocative word with which you may not be familiar — another brick to add to the wall of your working vocabulary. This week's word: BOUSTROPHEDON Copy editors come in for scorn for their supposed obsession with commas, but punctuation is something for which you should be grateful. The texts of classical Greek and Latin were written without punctuation, the words running together. Greek was written with alternating lines of right-to-left and left-to-right, a form of writing called boustrophedon (pronounced boo-struh-FEE-dun)
NEWS
By Jill Rosen and Jill Rosen,jill.rosen@baltsun.com | September 9, 2008
Everyone knows that cover letters must be spotless. Most people know to be careful as they type e-mails for work. , =, & and @ are allowed. * Shortened word forms such as nite and thru are allowed. * Use proper basic punctuation. * Use proper capitalization. Typing in lower-case doesn't save characters; it's just lazy. Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips For Better Writing
NEWS
By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | March 13, 2014
Baltimore's liquor board on Thursday revoked the license of a massive Southeast Baltimore dance club, citing incidents in which a patron was shot on the dance floor and the club's owner released pepper spray into a large crowd while riding on a golf cart. The Voltage club, which billed itself as the city's largest, operated out of an old Greyhound bus terminal in the Baltimore Travel Plaza on O'Donnell Street. Voltage, which has been open for about 16 months, ran afoul of police and the liquor board on consecutive weekends in November and into December.
NEWS
By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | July 25, 2013
The other day an intern on our copy desk spotted an odd duplication of words on a page proof. Checking the original text, I discovered that the copy editor responsible for it had made edits and had preserved all of the original text, including punctuation, in non-reproducing notes type but had neglected to include one of the duplicated words in the notes face. An easy slip to make.  Trying to read text in the show-changes function of Microsoft Word is bad enough, though often regrettably necessary, but this hybrid notes-text practice is even more challenging to follow, with non-reproducing and reproducing elements jumbled together.
NEWS
By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | March 22, 2013
You may want to grab a paper bag to breathe into in case this post provokes hyperventilation. Apostrophes are not all that important. This insight came to me as I was reading an important distinction that Geoffrey Pullum makes at Lingua Franca : "The apostrophe is  not  a punctuation mark. It doesn't punctuate. Punctuation marks are placed between units (sentences, clauses, phrases, words, morphemes) to signal structure, boundaries, or pauses. The apostrophe appears within words.
NEWS
By Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun | October 18, 2012
As traffic whizzed by on West Street, Nancy Patterson and her service dog, Mahler, rolled smoothly past homes and car dealerships until a utility pole jutted from the center of the brand-new sidewalk. Patterson negotiated her wheelchair around the pole, wincing as she got close to the road, and kept rolling, too excited to pay the obstacle much mind. "I haven't been able to walk on West Street, ever, before today," Patterson said. "It's a huge freedom for people with disabilities.
NEWS
By John E. McIntyre and The Baltimore Sun | September 24, 2012
Cognizant of the impending threat, the double threat, of a Ravens game and the Emmys, we returned from church yesterday afternoon and went into lockdown.  Just now cautiously emerging into the daylight. And emerging,  discover that it is National Punctuation Day. Probably a holiday we have little need for. I did, as a stunt on one previous National Punctuation day, write a sentence containing all the standard punctuation marks , and have at other times given advice on punctuation.
EXPLORE
February 29, 2012
Punctuation isn't something I spend much time thinking about, even though I make a living, in part, by writing and checking over what other people write. It's not to say I don't understand punctuation. As grammar people go, I'd say I'm punctuation proficient. Since the devices that replaced typewriters, once referred to as word processors, but now known as desktop and laptop computers came into being, a particular bit of punctuation has crossed the threshold from being an afterthought of the writing process to an irritating little sliver of ink that's apt to hook the wrong way or translate into some errant version of a letter of the alphabet.
NEWS
By Text and styling by Rebecca Thuss | November 7, 1996
The newest belts are bringing the waist into focus. Thick mesh and thin chains are wrapping up everything from military-inspired jackets to sleek jersey dresses. Belts are adding punctuation to fashion's minimalism. The best way to wear them is to pair luxury with simplicity. Try wearing one deep, rich color from head to toe and cinching the look with a gold belt. For holiday and everyday wear, the hippest waistlines are decked in silver and gold.Pub Date: 11/07/96
EXPLORE
February 29, 2012
Punctuation isn't something I spend much time thinking about, even though I make a living, in part, by writing and checking over what other people write. It's not to say I don't understand punctuation. As grammar people go, I'd say I'm punctuation proficient. Since the devices that replaced typewriters, once referred to as word processors, but now known as desktop and laptop computers came into being, a particular bit of punctuation has crossed the threshold from being an afterthought of the writing process to an irritating little sliver of ink that's apt to hook the wrong way or translate into some errant version of a letter of the alphabet.
NEWS
January 17, 2012
You will excuse me for not getting exercised over the decision by Waterstone's the British bookseller, to drop the apostrophe from its name.* The Apostrophe Protection Society appears to have its knickers in a twist, as it has in the past over Harrods. Not me. The society has its work cut out for it. The semicolon has its defenders, and needs them, because that punctuation mark appears to inspire dislike or unease. The lowly comma - It's a pause mark! It's a syntax mark! It's both!
SPORTS
By Kevin Van Valkenburg, The Baltimore Sun | November 7, 2011
It was interesting to tune into sports talk radio in the Steel City prior to Sunday's game between the Ravens and Steelers, if only to hear an opposing city's take on quarterback Joe Flacco. For several hours, caller after caller checked in to state the belief that Flacco, who was just 1-5 in Heinz Field prior to last night, would never play well enough to lead the Ravens to a win. A parade of hosts joined the chorus. All the Steelers had to do was rattle him a little, they believed, and he'd give the game away.
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