At least you don’t have Guy Noir commenting here. He’d cure you of your love of strange punctuation in a hurry.]]>
Actually, the issue about whether to use a comma (the “serial comma”) before the conjunction at the end of a list of items remains controversial. I don’t consistently follow one practice or the other — when I stick that final comma in, it’s usually because I want a bit more psychic separation between the next-to-last and last items. Or I’m just not paying attention.
There’s another reason I often put that final comma in: because I usually leave the ‘and’ out altogether in a list following a colon. For example:
I’m fond of other forms of punctuation: dashes, colons, semi-colons.
The ‘and’ in such a list seems superfluous. MS Word yammers at me every time for leaving it out, but I just ignore it and write as I choose. ..bruce..]]>
One of my sins is that I sometimes revert back to the pre-HTML days and use _underscores_ around a word instead of HTML italic tags to save on typing.
Bfwebster: In your sentence: I’m also very fond of dashes, colons, and semi-colons.
What’s the rule on the comma before the “and?” My understanding is that a comma separates the items in a list, but that the conjunction “and” or “or” does not need the comma before it.
Does anyone use the Chicago Book of Style (or other style books)?]]>
when I lived at home — many years ago now —,
when I lived at home–many years ago now–,
I tend to casually split infinitives all over the place, but use an hyphen when I should be using an em dash? Never!]]>