This post flows a bit like the 1987 film Full Metal Jacket. As one friend put it, “It starts somewhere and then goes in a different direction.” This year hasn’t been beset by the same old steady drizzle of bad news we have every year – but has borne the brunt of cyclonic storms, each one […]

A jumble of letters of the English alphabet visualised lying in a chaotic pattern under blue skies.

I suspect the Google Docs grammar bot is the least useful bot there is. After hundreds of suggestions, I can think of only one instance in which it was right. Is its failure rate so high because it learns from how other people use English, instead of drawing from a basic ruleset? I’m not saying […]

Why is good grammar important? In the Indian mainstream media at least, it appears that readers won’t penalise reporters and editors for imperfect use of grammar and punctuation. To be clear, they will notice – and many will avoid – bad writing; at the same time, readers are unlikely to credit articles that got their […]

The Baffler carried a fantastic critique of The New Yorker‘s use of commas by Kyle Paoletta on August 23. Excerpt: The magazine’s paper subscription slips have long carried a tagline: “The best writing, anywhere.” It follows that the source of the best writing, anywhere, must also be the finest available authority on grammar, usage, and […]