Exloring popular comma mistakes; understanding the word ‘that’

In this weekly roundup of the week’s top stories on writing, we explore commas, the word ‘that,’ the Texas twang, writing by hand, I shot the serif, and more.

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Comma mistakes. In this piece for The New York Times, Ben Yagoda provides some refreshers on essential vs. non-essential commas, missing commas, and the comma splice. Some of his tips include: “Whenever you find yourself using a comma before an Identification, Characterization or Explanation, remember that there has to be a comma after the I.C.E. as well.” Read the story here.

When do you need “that”?
There’s no consensus for the use of “that” among some of the more notable style guides. For example, “President Obama said Wednesday he would go to Europe.” Where does “that” belong? Or does it belong at all? Merrill Perlman takes this on at the Columbia Journalism Review, and explains why the AP, New York Times, and Garner’s Modern American Usage all have a different approach. Read the post here.

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