November 25, 2008

Punctuation power to the people!

Our hard-fought campaign to overhaul the New Yorker's comma policy vis-a-vis the word "like" gets results!

To recap, the magazine has previously treated all substandard usage of the word "like" as if it were a meaningless interjection (i.e., mistaking an approximation of "said" or "thought" for mere valley-girl hiccuping): "I was, like, 'Oh, where's Arianna?'"

But Radosh.net grammar correspondent Vance Lehmkuhl observes that last week brought a change:

While other brewers were dyeing their beer green for St. Patrick’s Day, Calagione brewed his with blue-green algae. "It tasted like appetizing pond scum," he says. "The first sip, you were like, 'Wow, that tasted like pond scum. But you know what? I kind of want a second sip.'"

A copy-editing slip, or a grammatical revolution? We'll be keeping our eye on future issues to find out!


Posted by Daniel Radosh


Daniel, thanks for posting this, I guess. I can't help the suspicion that they were hoping to sneak this in - maybe even a rogue (sensible) copy editor decided to go for it and see if anyone noticed, and now that you've splashed it all over this World Wide Web site, the magazine will retrench and/or fire the hapless renegade. Either way, exciting times!

Yes, we can!

All this movement needs now is protest babes. (No offense, Vance.)

With comma-shaped pasties.

Clearly the ommission was an attempt to generate this very reaction in order to then see who the
Comma Underground are [so they might more easily be "dealt with"].

But what's with the multi-human rendering of a sperm breaking into an egg cell? Is is supposed to be metaphoric of the birth of a new grammatical order?

Because it's like, kind of twisted.

Comma comma down doobie doo down down ...

[oops, that was mine]

If this excerpt from the recent Naomi Klein profile is any indicator, you're about to be disappointed:

“It’s excellent—it’s intercut between interviews with the Tipton Three”—three young British men who were held in Guantánamo for two years—“and they’re just, like, blokes, you know?"

@jimjbollocks. No, that's the other use of like, so the commas are proper here.

Post a comment

Powered by
Movable Type 3.2