Oh, I pity today’s comma chasers. But first, let’s make one thing clear. The term comma chaser doesn’t refer solely to that tiny punctuation mark but is a generic term for editors and teachers, and even parents who take the time to look over their kids’ homework.
And while on this subject, let me stress that every person who checks submitted work for spelling, punctuation (not just commas), apostrophes (especially) and content already has a place reserved in the Great Hereafter.
That doesn’t necessarily mean Heaven will be populated only with erstwhile English teachers asking, “To whom do I owe this heavenly honor?” Or people like Winston Churchill, who became tired of hearing, “Never end a sentence with a preposition.” He answered, “This is the kind of arrant pedantry up with which I will not put.”
No, Heaven should contain all the people who try to improve language — any language. And while still on the subject, I believe that even people who don’t teach language but who nevertheless remediate grammar and usage issues ought to get the fast track to paradise. Why? Because they (and we) have already spent our hell on earth. Continue reading