Last week the Oxford comma made big news: a Maine trucking company was forced to pay overtime after the lack of a comma in a law was interpreted in favor of the truckers. Here is the blog post that talks about that article.
I researched a bit and found that there are several famous stories where punctuation has been crucial to interpretation of a law.
First, there is the “comma defense.” Was it going to be life in prison or the death penalty for Clifford L. Robinson? The federal sentencing code reads, “. . . death or life in prison, or a fine or both . . .” A fine for murder? Read more…
Google is being sued over its internal confidentiality policies which bar employees from putting in writing concerns over “illegal” activity, posting opinions about the company, and even writing novels “about someone working at a tech company in Silicon Valley” without first giving their employer sign-off on the final draft.
The lawsuit, revealed by industry news site The Information, accuses Google of breaching California labour laws through its confidentiality provisions, by preventing employees from exercising their legal rights to discuss workplace conditions, wages, and potential violations inside the company.
It has been brought by an individual employee under a….
You see, the Oxford comma isn’t just a punctuation mark that academics, writers, and grammar trolls argue about. It’s not just something that gets you hundreds – thousands – of likes or shares on social media.
I get an inordinate number of questions about what the industry fondly calls “blurbs,” and here I attempt to cover them all with a detailed list of how authors can approach soliciting and choosing, and everything in between. In today’s book marketplace, blurbs still matter to publishers and the industry at large, in part because they’re a bit of a holdover from a bygone era and publishing is big on tradition, and in part because household names and big review outlets still carry a lot of prestige. The idea is simple. If you’re a fan of John Grisham and he blurbs a new legal thriller, you might be more inclined to give that new book a chance. But obviously most newly published authors today are not getting blurbed by household names or big review outlets. I’ve witnessed my own authors at She Writes Press agonizing over blurbs, while others seem to treat the whole endeavor like a sport. But by and large, whether the process of procuring blurbs comes easily or not, I see a lot of misconception about the blurb’s purpose and around the protocol of blurbing in general. So here’s my attempt to set a few things straight.…[more]
After two years and two novels published, I’d like to share my top tips for new authors, with the hope that my experiences will save you time and minimize stress! Feel free to comment and/or add your thoughts!
Good editorial advice is precious. The editorial process can be long and painful, but a good editor will skillfully fine-tune your story so it resonates with readers. When faced with… [more]
Fair use allows you to use someone’s copyrighted work without permission. However, invoking fair use is not a straightforward matter. Before you use any part of anyone else’s copyrighted material – even for quotation purposes – you have to consider the risks that are involved. After all, would YOU like someone else to use YOUR copyrighted material without asking first?
Grammar can be pretty funny. Whoever thought grammar was serious business hasn’t looked at some of the cartoons and memes on Facebook! And they obviously haven’t attended one of my workshops!
One of the more humorous gaffes that occurs in grammar (mostly in written language) is the misplaced (and sometimes dangling) modifier. These are often hard to find and easy to miss — whether you are the writer or the reader — but when you do find them . . .