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 Education, 2000 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 246 pages

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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User Review  - ilikeike - LibraryThing

I loved this book when I first read it a while ago, which is why it originally had a 5-star. However, upon rereading it (with a lot more confidence in my own abilities as a writer and grammarian ... Read full review

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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


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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,, where he answers questions about style and grammar.

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