Lapsing Into a Comma: A Curmudgeon's Guide to the Many Things That Can Go Wrong in Print--and How to Avoid Them

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McGraw Hill Professional, May 22, 2000 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 256 pages
6 Reviews

No writer's or editor's desk is complete without a battered, page-bent copy of the AP Stylebook. However, this not-so-easy-to-use reference of journalistic style is often not up-to-date and leaves reporters and copyeditors unsatisfied. Bill Walsh, copy chief for the Washington Post's business desk, addresses these shortcomings in Lapsing into a Comma. In an opinionated, humorous, and yes, curmudgeonly way, he shows how to apply the basic rules to unique, modern grammar issues. Walsh explains how to deal with perplexing situations such as trendy words, foreign terms, and web speak.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - TJWilson - LibraryThing

Bill has very sensible stylistic rules. Definitely a book created out of need: a pinnacle of frustrated copy-editing. A good book to have next to you if you are writing something in the journalistic form. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - JustAGirl - LibraryThing

A funny look at grammar and writing style and the rules behind them. This is a style guide so a little dry for the causual reader, but if you're looking for a guide to American grammar then this is a ... Read full review

Contents

BEYOND SEARCH AND REPLACE Using Your Head as Well as Your Stylebook
1
YOU COULD LOOK IT UP How to Use a Dictionary With Style
5
HOLDING THE VIRTUAL FORT Disturbing Trends in the Information Age
13
ARBITRARY CAPITALIZATION
20
CALL IT UNINATI
28
LITERALLY SPEAKING Write What You Mean Mean What You Write
31
GIVING 110 PERCENT Why You Needed Those Math Classes After All
37
MATTERS OF SENSITIVITY Correctness Political and Otherwise
41
DASH IT ALL PERIOD The Finer Points of Punctuation
71
THE CURMUDGEONS STYLEBOOK Details Details
95
THE 5 HABITS OF HIGHLY HOLLYWOOD PEOPLE
107
INFINITIVES
112
SLOPPY SIMILES
148
MONIKER LEWINSKY
151
PUT THAT DOWN
160
IM A MEMBER OF THE MEDIA BUT IM NOT A MEDIUM
188

DIRTY MIND CLEAN COPY
44
HE SAID SHE SAID Quotations in the News
49
IT Is I SAID THE FULLBACK
61
THE BIG TYPE Headlines and Captions
65
RETRONYMS OR SOMETIMES A MUFFIN Is JUST A MUFFIN
192
PASSIVE AGGRESSION
199
INDEX
229
Copyright

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About the author (2000)

Bill Walsh is the copy chief for the Washington Post's business desk. He also runs a website, www.theslot.com, where he answers questions about style and grammar.

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