Grammatical Note

I have worked on and off as a copy editor, and my natural love of the English language has made me rather anal retentive about its presentation on the printed (or virtual) page. I bring this up here for a couple of reasons.

First, my anal retention causes me to fuss with my blog entries after they’re posted. I’ve always been this way. I can’t help it, so I won’t bother. All sorts of minor proofing/copy edits will take place, and I won’t announce them or use the customary ugly strikethrough or underline or any other such madness. I will make mistakes, because one’s own writing is always hardest to edit, and here I am my sole editor, sadly. Yet I will not flag these mistakes. You’ll just have to deal with that. (I will duly and responsibly draw attention to any significant corrections to the substance of my posts or factual changes.)

Second, I wanted to note my use of un-American commas/periods outside quotation marks. As much as I’ve always adhered to the stupid system that dictates I put all commas and periods inside quotation marks, where logic dictates they clearly do not belong… not on this blog. It is simply too ridiculous to hyperlink to an article by title and include a comma or period inside the title with the link.

For example…

In reading Joe Schmoe’s recent article, “How to Punctuate Properly,” I was perplexed by Schmoe’s insistence on an archaic, regionalized form of punctuation.

Why would I want that comma included in the title of the article being referenced? (I wouldn’t.)

Okay, sorry for wasting your time. (Slash, thanks for indulging.)