Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by ethics, Aug 20, 2004.
Duane Ackerman is a twit.
Oops! Did I type that out loud?
Joseph, I am winning this argument.
A lack of an Oxford comma cost dairy $5 million - CNN
Holy thread resurrection, Batman!!!
I don't remember seeing that thread before. I guess you (Leon) were referring to Joseftu. I worked for publishers in the fields of medicine, molecular biology, and psychology. They all wanted the serial or Oxford comma. Most newspapers and magazines require it only to avoid ambiguity. Obviously, they overlooked the need in this instance.
Ah yes, technical and or scientific type publications, what a joy! Ninety percent of their written articles or publications... a totally embarrassing collection of god-awful lack of quality writing. One hundred and one different styles of convoluted incomprehensible attempts to communicate.
One of the worst problems was very long sentences. I'd forget what was at the beginning by the time I got to the end. I'd break it up into two shorter sentences, which they usually accepted. During the last couple of years of freelancing, I was working directly with the authors at one publisher. I enjoyed that most of the time. The most interesting excuse for a missed deadline came from a French woman (one day late) because she'd been doing flyovers in a Borneo jungle (counting the orangutan population) and couldn't email the manuscript until she got back to the research station. Then there was the geneticist who spelled my name "Allele" whenever he emailed me.
When I use to be able to write well and did so for publication I found that for me editing was highly important for optimal results. Same thing when I edited other's works. Like you I found that breaking up long sentences into two shorter separate ones was crucial.
Stat and content checker programs confirmed that the best writing averaged about 12-18 words per sentence. Shorter in that range usually being better IMO.
Nope, Sir Joseph in this thread.
Well, yeah. That kind of error makes perfect sense.
Been a while since I saw Sir Joseph around here.
OMG the dreaded Oxford comma rears its ugly head again. I've seen this discussion play out all over the Internet. Myself, I just rewrite awkward sentences until they aren't awkward any more. Often there is no way out:
"Leon goes to the spa and sees many choices for towels: red, white, green, and blue!"
Well there's that pesky comma. Personally, I think the word "and" is overused...