Story Archive

Grammar Communist

If you know any grammar nerds, you may have seen the image, which has been going around online for years: “We invited the strippers, JFK, and Stalin,” illustrated twice to illustrate the value of the “Oxford” comma before the “and.” With the comma, there are four people; without the comma, there are only two — “the strippers, JFK and Stalin” — who are dressed for a surprising new profession. “That is unbelievable,” said Amy Steward, a mother who saw the rather crude, but not-actually-explicit, drawing. “I mean I feel like I shouldn’t be looking at that picture right now.” But she was looking at it because, to the outrage of some parents, a Highland Park (Texas) High School teacher had shown it to 10th-graders in class to bang home the grammatical point. A district spokesman said that the teacher apologized, and that officials had never approved the drawing in the first place. (AC/KTVT Dallas) ...Next time, the teacher will consult sensible people, parents, and school officials.
Original Publication Date: 13 September 2015
This story is in True’s book collections, in Volume 22.

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I believe humanity is held back by the lack of thinking. I provoke thought with examples of what happens when we don’t think, and when we do. This is True is my primary method: stories like this come out every week by email, and basic subscriptions are free. Click here for a subscribe form.

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