Sunday, March 19, 2017

Spelling and Punctuation Still Matter

On March 16, 2017 at ToughNickel there was an article by Rusty C. Adore titled Five Tips for Great Presentations When You Fear Public Speaking with a second tip that included:

Teachers love visual aides during presentations. If you have charts, graphs, slides, photos, or videos you're already ahead of the game.

He should have said aids not the narrower category of aides. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, an aide is:

“a person who acts as an assistant.”

The century old poster (shown above) for Thurston the Master Magician has eight visual aides – young women in low-cut dresses whose role is to direct attention away from what the magician actually is doing.

On March 17, 2017 there was another article by Mary Norris at the New Yorker about a lawsuit. It was titled A Few Words About That Ten-Million-Dollar Serial Comma and described how:

“While advocates of the serial comma are happy for the truck drivers’ victory, it was actually the lack of said comma that won the day. Here are the facts of the case, for those who may have been pinned under a semicolon. According to Maine state law, workers are not entitled to overtime pay for the following activities: ‘The canning, processing, preserving, freezing, drying, marketing, storing, packing for shipment or distribution of: (1) Agricultural produce; (2) Meat and fish products; and (3) Perishable foods.’

The issue is that, without a comma after ‘shipment,’ the ‘packing for shipment or distribution’ is a single activity. Truck drivers do not pack food, either for shipment or for distribution; they drive trucks and deliver it. Therefore, these exemptions do not apply to drivers, and Oakhurst Dairy owes them some ten million dollars.”

In 2016 Ms. Norris had a two-minute YouTube video on The Importance of Serial Commas.

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