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Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen
Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen | Mary Norris
Hilarious. . . . This book charmed my socks off. Patricia OConner, New York Times Book Review Mary Norris has spent more than three decades in The New Yorker's copy department, maintaining its celebrated high standards. Now she brings her vast experience, good cheer, and finely sharpened pencils to help the rest of us in a boisterous language book as full of life as it is of practical advice. Between You & Me features Norris's laugh-out-loud descriptions of some of the most common and vexing problems in spelling, punctuation, and usagecomma faults, danglers, "who" vs. "whom," "that" vs. "which," compound words, gender-neutral languageand her clear explanations of how to handle them. Down-to-earth and always open-minded, she draws on examples from Charles Dickens, Emily Dickinson, Henry James, and the Lord's Prayer, as well as from The Honeymooners, The Simpsons, David Foster Wallace, and Gillian Flynn. She takes us to see a copy of Noah Webster's groundbreaking Blue-Back Speller, on a quest to find out who put the hyphen in Moby-Dick, on a pilgrimage to the world's only pencil-sharpener museum, and inside the hallowed halls of The New Yorker and her work with such celebrated writers as Pauline Kael, Philip Roth, and George Saunders. Readersand writerswill find in Norris neither a scold nor a softie but a wise and witty new friend in love with language and alive to the glories of its use in America, even in the age of autocorrect and spell-check. As Norris writes, "The dictionary is a wonderful thing, but you can't let it push you around."
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Eggs
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66 likes2 comments
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Eggs
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ElizaMarie That necklace is so pretty! 11mo
Eggs Thank you 💛💛 @ElizaMarie 11mo
62 likes2 comments
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swynn
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Pickpick

A collection of light essays on grammar, spelling, and pencils by a New Yorker copy editor. It is a delight of insider stories and orthographic questions like, "What is the plural possessive of McDonald's?" (A: McDonald'ses' but let's not.) If you have an opinion on the Oxford comma -- especially if your opinion is that people who call a serial comma "the Oxford comma" are faking sophistication -- then you are in the target audience.

squirrelbrain Sounds like my kind of book - stacked! 1y
swynn @squirrelbrain Hope you like it as much as I did! 1y
35 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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swynn
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Let's get one thing straight right from the beginning: I didn't set out to be a comma queen.

#FirstLineFridays
@ShyBookOwl

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Eggs
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Bookwormjillk 😍😍 1y
Lcsmcat Those are some bright covers! 1y
73 likes3 comments
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behudd
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Mehso-so

⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 Written by a copy editor for The New Yorker, this book is definitely for a niche audience. Can you listen to a conversation about comma placement and say, “Yes! Thank you!” out loud? Then this is for you. Part memoir, part grammar primer, Norris is funny and relatable, but I did occasionally get bogged down & lose interest. English majors & other word nerds, this book is for you, but probably only for you.
April #bookspin @TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Uhoh, I may be in this niche! 😂 Great review! 2y
behudd @TheAromaofBooks haha I definitely am! It helped me to listen to it, so that the textbooky parts didn‘t get me too bogged down. 2y
swynn This has been in my TBR for years and yes, that's my niche. I need to get to it. 2y
behudd @swynn definitely! There was a lot I loved & found myself laughing out loud :) 2y
9 likes4 comments
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Eggs
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#ispy a yellow cover @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks

Next color is white! Show a white book cover, choose next color and tag folks

@mabell @marleed @TrishB

behudd This is my bookspin book this month! Just started it this morning :) 2y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks 💛💛💛 2y
Eggs @behudd it‘s so goood 2y
Eggs @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks 💛☀️💛 2y
mabell Thank you for the tag! I‘ll check my shelves 😄 2y
68 likes5 comments
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sarahljensen
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Pickpick

This book has everything: commas, Blackwing pencils, eraser reviews, and crying unrelentingly, which is that thing when a copy editor yells at you for not knowing how many t's The New Yorker would put in the word summit. (End Stefon voice)

9 likes1 stack add
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nerdcornerbooks
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Happy Monday from Lady Portia and the #library and #tbr stacks! #catsandbooks #catlover

AbigailDays Aww, she's such a pretty kitty! Gotta love #catsoflitsy 2y
rretzler 😻 2y
12 likes2 comments
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Hamlet
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Pickpick

With the San Juan Mtns in Colorado at 7 1/2 times their normal snowpack, I‘m taking a break from my CDT hike after the NM section & this book welcomed me home. Her humor & insights into copywriting at the New Yorker made it a lively read that I finished quickly. Norris explains grammar & punctuation well, evincing her care and rather strict approach while remaining open-minded and kind to others; the book is not a Truss-like venting, to my relief.

5 likes1 stack add
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Eggs
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vkois88 💛💛💛 3y
100 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Eggs
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Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I‘ll have to check her out!! 3y
Kimberlone Her videos are so great! I didn‘t know she wrote a book! 3y
vkois88 Haven't heard of this one 3y
118 likes6 stack adds4 comments
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VeganCleopatra
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sprainedbrain You are very welcome! ❤️ 3y
26 likes1 stack add1 comment
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mirpoulson

"'Whom' may indeed be on the way out, but so is Venice, and we still like to go there."

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rabbitprincess
Mehso-so

This book left me cold. I enjoyed the chapter on pencils (I love a good geek out over office supplies), but the descriptions of The New Yorker's working environment made it sound prickly, prescriptivist and unnecessarily fussy. Blah.

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Nat_Reads
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Pickpick

Funny and educational! Felt like a good read for finals week (does "finals" need an apostrophe?!)

Kimberlone Her videos from the New Yorker are great! I play them for my students sometimes. 4y
Nat_Reads @Kimberlone I will have to watch those--thank you! 4y
33 likes1 stack add2 comments
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ness
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100 percent accurate! What a fun and quick quiz. https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/what-punctuation-mark-are-you/

10 likes1 stack add
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emilyesears
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I went to bed at 8:30 last night due to extreme tiredness. I then woke up at 1:30 am. I ended up reading the first 80 pages of this before going back to sleep. I‘m not as picky about grammar as Mary Norris is, but I‘m enjoying the stories about her life. I wanted to show off the 2 grammar books that have impacted my life: the AP Stylebook from my 4 years working for the school paper in high school/undergrad & the APA Handbook from library school.

Molly_the_mezzo My mother loves this book! 4y
emilyesears @Molly_the_mezzo I ended up thinking it was a little slow, but overall entertaining. 4y
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anneofgreentables
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Pickpick

A geeky book about all things grammar from commas to pronouns. I loved all the anecdotes, helpful hints, and reassurances that I'm not the only one that's picky about their writing utensils.

Jess_Read_This 🙌🏼I immediately searched for the types of pencils she likes in this book 🙈 4y
anneofgreentables @Jess_Read_This Me too! A nice, smooth-writing pencil just does something for me 😊 4y
rubyslippersreads I need to read this! ❤️✏️✒️ 4y
17 likes3 comments
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UnabridgedTomes
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But what if I actually microwave it? Will my house burn down? "Probably" is the answer.

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UnabridgedTomes
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That's👏🏼not 👏🏼how👏🏼apostrophes👏🏼work👏🏼

EvieBee *shudder* 5y
10 likes1 comment
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quietjenn
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Grey, rainy day, perfect for indoor pursuits. Taking a break from laundry to start this.

31 likes1 stack add
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TheWordJar
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#spinepoetry #3. Because who doesn't love Junot Díaz?? #marchintoreading

RealLifeReading 👏👏👏 5y
DeborahSmall Good one! I have a few and I'm having problems uploading pics!!!. I've been trying for 2 hours. It's now 4.30am and I need to try and sleep so I'll have some fun tomorrow 💕 5y
TheWordJar @DeborahSmall Can't wait to read them! 5y
DeborahSmall Like you I have lots of thrillers 😉 5y
47 likes4 comments
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CherylRussell
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Bookmail! 📚📦📪Now to find time for reading. 🕰😕

Jinjer Love the blue pot & red bowl! 5y
28 likes2 comments
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Windy
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Bailedbailed

I could not get through this book. It was interesting at first to see her passion of the structure of language but that excitement wore off quick. I can about half way through, but I just can't waste my time on this anymore.

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Nampatel
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2 likes1 stack add
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Windy
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Ready for a fibromyalgia recovery day. Trying a new trick I read about the other day. When I start losing focus I switch to the other book. Hoping this technique will keep me reading all day long.

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Mtompkins
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This book makes my little English nerd heart so happy.

5 likes2 stack adds
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Hooked_on_books
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Pickpick

I needed a break after a couple of dark books and this hit the spot. It's a delightful book about grammar from the eyes of a New Yorker copy editor. It's light-hearted but informative with some memoir mixed in. A fun look behind the scenes.

Louise Oh, great! A friend picked this up for me at our local "dump-tique", and I've been wanting to dive in to indulge my grammatical nerdiness! ? 5y
Texreader I ❤️❤️❤️ the title, reflecting the correct and often misused use of the word "me"! I hear this grammatical error all.the.time. Definitely putting this one on my tbr! Thanks for letting us know about it!! 5y
rachel_mbc I love this book! She's such a charming writer. 5y
Hooked_on_books @Texreader You're so welcome! For me, it's apostrophes. She does a great job addressing so many different errors. Excellent nerd book. 🤓 5y
46 likes9 stack adds4 comments
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kerry
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my mother-in-law has excellent taste in books, grammar, and centerpieces (coffee my own)

britt_brooke Nice photo! 📷 5y
25 likes1 comment
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thelityard
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"A colon is sometimes preferable to a semicolon if the thrust of the sentence is forward: you are amplifying something, providing a definition or a list or an illustration. The semicolon sets up a different relationship; whatever follows relates in a more subtle way to what came before. A dash can perform either of these services, but it is looser, less formal."

#MaryNorris #betweenyouandme #confessionsofacommaqueen #books #booksaboutwriting

MrBook Great pic! 5y
thelityard Thank you! @MrBook 5y
8 likes1 stack add2 comments
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EnidBiteEm
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Norris is witty, and fun; her advice is practical, and informative ... and then there's this tired line about the problems with gender-specific pronouns (a shame, when many of her thoughts on language seem original. She worked as a copy editor on The New Yorker for thirty years). Published in 2015 ...

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findmeinthelibrary
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This is part one of my #favplacetorelax - my crafting library! It's itty bitty, covered in piles of books, and there are bots of yarns and thread floating everywhere, but I love it. #augustphotochallenge

LauraBeth So pretty ❤️ 5y
Yamich49 😍😍😍 5y
Posemn Perfect. I love that chair! 5y
28 likes4 comments
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ness
Pickpick

Mary Norris is delightful and hilarious. I saw her speak at the American Copy Editors Society a couple of years back. Her book—part memoir and part grammar primer—is 100 percent excellent. #24in48

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ness
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And now for some non-fiction. #24in48

6 likes1 stack add
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Jersingsandreads
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Just some grammar lessons this morning.

8 likes3 stack adds
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kaitkingly
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Bought this one at Powell's, I'm excited to read it!

5 likes1 stack add
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MaryAnn1
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I learned that I've got a LOT to learn!! I'm certainly not a grammar nazi but I could stand to improve my skills. This was a mixture of the proper usage of English with a few personal anecdotes tossed in. Definitely not a read-it-in-one-sitting kind of book, but slightly entertaining nonetheless.

LitLogophile I just read the description of this book and it sounds amazing! Thanks 5y
35 likes6 stack adds1 comment
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CarisaMiller
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Pickpick

If you can't get excited about hyphen placement, don't bother. For the rest of us, yippee!
Behind the scenes of copy-editing at The New Yorker. History and usage battles abound. Allan Fallow of The Washington Post blurbed it as porn for word nerds. He's right.

3 likes1 stack add
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Devyn
Pickpick

Absolutely wonderful from start to finish. I checked out my copy from the library but I'm gonna swing by the bookstore to get my own copy that I can mark up and turn to in the future. Any other grammar nerds out there, get on this.

SusanInTiburon Sounds like just my cup of tea! 6y
5 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Devyn
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Absolutely loving Between You & Me! Part memoir, part grammar book, part snarky commentary on language itself.

Coleen I think I need to have this. 6y
Devyn @Colleen I would agree! 6y
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autumnprivett
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Pickpick

This is a charming book that is part biography and part grammar book. As a fan of the New Yorker, I love the anecdotes about the organization's inner workings. The chapter on pencils was also endearing. Basically, if you love words you will love this one. 🤓
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

KateTheBookworm This book was fantastic. I love watching her "Comma Queen" videos the New Yorker puts out. ?✏️ 6y
Libshitz This looks right up my alley! 6y
WhatStaceyReads I read this last summer and no book has ever felt so much like me. I loved it. 6y
See All 9 Comments
autumnprivett @KateTheBookworm Yes!! Those videos are amazing. 6y
Devyn I just started reading this and I'm loving it so much! I checked it out from the library but I think I might actually need to buy a copy of my own :) 6y
kgriffith Sold! 6y
RachelWeber Oh this sounds so perfect! 6y
Donna_sBookMinute The sub-title caught my attention. And the review pretty much sealed the deal. Then I had to tear myself away from admiring the crown of punctuation marks on the cover so I could comment. Can't wait to read this one. 6y
Brandilarsen Any review that says "the chapter on pencils" is gold in my book. 6y
84 likes67 stack adds9 comments
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Yvonneboop

Enjoying the audio of this...

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Sydsavvy
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Pickpick

Between you and me, I LOVED this book. Who knew a copy editor could be so witty?

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Jess_Read_This
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"And when Mr. Burns, on The Simpsons, finds out Homer's father, Abe Simpson, used to wrestle under the name Glamorous Godfrey, and shouts "You were he!" his excellent grammar marks him as a villain."

11 likes2 stack adds
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Jess_Read_This
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"I would never disable spell-check. That would be hubris. Autocorrect I could do without."