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The importance of the Oxford comma for truck drivers!
Thread poster: Texte Style

Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:55
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Punctuation ... What do you think ... Mar 17

My late father used to claim that he'd seen the following notice in a barber's shop window:

What do you think I'll shave you for nothing and buy you a drink

When the customer claimed his free shave and drink, the barber explained that the notice said:

What! Do you think I'll shave you for nothing and buy you a drink?


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Annamaria Amik  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:55
Romanian to English
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Reginam occidere Mar 17

Jenny Forbes wrote:

My late father used to claim that he'd seen the following notice in a barber's shop window:

What do you think I'll shave you for nothing and buy you a drink

When the customer claimed his free shave and drink, the barber explained that the notice said:

What! Do you think I'll shave you for nothing and buy you a drink?


Hehe
Here's a famous case in Hungarian history where punctuation was a matter of life and death for Queen Gertrude: http://www.math.ku.edu/~hetyei/courses/old/520/reginam.html Although this is probably just an anecdotal curiosity, it does show that punctuation matters:
Reginam occidere nolite timere bonum est si omnes consentiunt ego non contradico.


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Daryo
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:55
Serbian to English
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yes and no Mar 18

Tom in London wrote:

Texte Style wrote:

Not bothering with Oxford commas means these truck drivers will get paid for more overtime:
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/mar/16/oxford-comma-helps-drivers-win-dispute-about-overtime-pay

yay for the Oxford comma!


I've never heard of the "Oxford comma". Is that different from greengrocer's apostrophe?

images



[Edited at 2017-03-17 16:35 GMT]


Is that different from greengrocer's apostrophe? Yes and no ...

it's a happily sloppy/ignorant greengrocer's apostrophe that decided to climb down from the ascender heights to be the baseline in order to transmute itself into the pedantic/posh Oxford comma! ... who said that promotion is always about going up?

BTW, these truck drivers know how to defend their profession ... anyone noticed that bit? Anything to learn from that?

A final digression - I remember another story from the time of Imperial Russia, probably apocryphal. Some official made some serious mistakes and the case was presented to the Empress. She wrote her decision in a short sealed letter, given to this miscreant to carry it to the Minister of Interior (apparently, it was a quite usual practical joke at the time - make you carry the letter with your own death sentence to the executioner). So this character simply opened the letter and found out that it was saying "not to Siberia" (IOW "execute him"). [This letter was her answer to a letter asking whether this official should be executed or sent to Siberia] He simply added a comma and turned it into "no, to Siberia" IOW "do not execute him, send him to Siberia").

[Edited at 2017-03-18 00:21 GMT]


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TonyTK
German to English
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But the essence of ... Mar 18

Annamaria Amik wrote:

Oh come on, Chris was funny



... any joke is its internal logic. Perhaps it's supposed to be irony.

I'd say he's overstretched himself.


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