Looking For Love With The Oxford Comma

December 31, 2019

This post, first published on 22nd February, was the most viewed on my site in 2019:

 

Image: from Reddit

I have always used the Oxford comma. Because of it, I have been abused by grammar “purists”, marked down in school, and “corrected” by copy editors all my life it seems, but still I am happy to cheer lead for it. The battle for and against the Oxford comma is deeply divisive but limited, or so I thought, to those who write a lot. No more, according to an article in GQ:

“Recently, the Oxford comma has found a spot on the Bingo card of online-dating profiles, alongside mainstays like “no hookups,” “no drama,” and “420 friendly.” Whether you’re mindlessly grazing on Tinder or Bumble, OkCupid or Match.com, you’re now as likely to learn someone’s thoughts on the Oxford comma as you are their job title or their penchant for tacos. On the Tinder subreddit, which has 1.8 million subscribers, one user lamented that the Oxford comma features in “like a quarter of bios ’round my parts.” Another said, “It’s everywhere.” Even a journal entry on Tinder’s own blog mentions it: “Honestly, I’m not sure how compatible I can be with someone who is anti-the Oxford comma.”

I sympathize with that final cri de coeur.  However, is it really so important that it can affect your love life?  According to GQ, it is a reliable class signifier:

“The blue-blood punctuation mark, named after the Oxford University Press, acts as a social signifier, a sieve for the bookish and studious (and, perhaps, pretentious). It suggests personality traits that extend far beyond punctuation preferences …  I think it suggests care. It suggests somebody who’s structured and disciplined and not a slob … Somebody who’s into detail, who likes precision. Somebody who has standards.”

Gosh. Who knew?


Image: Bold Colour

December 31, 2019


Why Time Flies

December 31, 2019

The other day I blamed Einstein for why time seems to go faster by as one gets older.  However, a neuroscientist has another idea:

 

The four minutes will fly by!


What This Decade Hath Wrought

December 31, 2019

2010 to 2019 …

Blurrier, hairier, and 30 pounds heavier — not to mention ten years older!


Night Music: Paris (Acoustic)

December 30, 2019


Poem: December 31, 2000

December 30, 2019

 

In a bus line

in the heart of the city,

in a hailstorm thrusting silver shards of icy glass

deep into the concrete earth,

a woman holds a little Japanese baby

the colour of Cadbury’s

Dairy Milk Chocolate.

 

Asleep in peace,

his little fingers wave in the air like

undulating undersea fronds.

Beneath the coloured threads and protective fibres

of his logoed rainsuit,

no fever shakes the young child’s bones,

no distrust disturbs the sleep of purity,

no threats or worries fly about

in his head so full of wonder and learning.

 

In this child’s dreams lies the promise

Of the new year.

 

 


Image: Corner Suites

December 29, 2019