Before [Lee] Atwater died, of brain cancer, in 1991, he expressed regret over the “naked cruelty” he had shown to [Michael] Dukakis in making “Willie Horton his running mate.”"No other publication would put a comma after 'died' or 'cancer,'" he explains. "The New Yorker does so because otherwise (or so the thinking goes), the sentence would suggest that Atwater died multiple times and of multiple causes."
Friday, May 25, 2012
ALOTT5MA FRIDAY GRAMMAR RODEO: Ben Yagoda, no stranger to these parts, has been writing a great deal about commas online for the NYT of late. He notes, regarding The New Yorker's "scrupulous, bordering on fetishistic" rules regarding commas, the following example from a Jane Mayer article:
Posted by Adam at 8:41 AM