Comma plus conjunction

It has come to my attention that people often don’t know how to use commas properly, so I’ll point out a misuse that has been bugging me lately. See the sentence above? It contains two independent clauses separated by a comma and a conjunction (so). It’s a rule most of
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Breathe and let breath(e)

When I was first informed that my responsibilities as copy editor include producing content for the online copy blog, I was slightly taken aback. I have to actually write something? I signed up to sit at a computer and correct articles, not sit at a computer and write about correcting
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The little things: all day, every day

Following some feedback from readers regarding my previous blog post, I will be starting a series of articles revolving around grammar. I can’t replace Strunk and White, mind you, but at least these posts will clarify some of the little things commonly overlooked or misused in our language. That being
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A ‘mangy’ request from management

On our way back from a recent trip to L.A., my friends and I decided to make a pit stop a few dozen miles past Bakersfield. (I think we wanted to avoid the commotion that is the Bakersfield In-N-Out.) So around 2 p.m., we walked into a Taco Bell, one
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More than a matter of length

It ought to be no surprise that I, a self-admitted grammar nerd, correct people’s verbal slip-ups — incorrect prepositions, past participles and the like. What really gets me, though, is when there is a mistake that I cannot address right away, often because it is written. After all, to whom
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Military intelligence

I have a great deal of respect for many of those who serve our country in uniform, but I have nothing but contempt for the talentless individuals who write their advertisements, which evince little other than a failure to comprehend the usage of basic parts of speech: As any grade-school
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An everyday error

For future reference: Everyday is an adjective used to describe something that is common or ordinary. For example, a casual outfit is an everyday outfit. Every day is an adjective and a noun, meaning “each day.” For example, Berkeley students should use proper grammar every day.

Ten items or fewer!

Here is a sign from Target showing the common mistake of “10 items or less” signs. Why? The number of items is countable, which we are given as 10; thus, the sign should read “10 items or fewer.”