If I Were 22: I’d Lay Off the Commas

If I were 22 again, I would have been better at my first real job—a community newspaper copy editor. Sure, I knew AP Style well enough, but I remember adding superfluous commas and editing mistakes into the copy. I was the last set of eyes before the paper went to bed, and I was drunk on power and punctuation.

To be fair, those mistakes were something no ordinary person would recognize. Only journalists know about the tricky closed quotation mark at the end of a long quote that continues into a new paragraph. And we still get that wrong. AP created that rule simply to trick people I think. Let me demonstrate.

 

“If I were 22 again, I wouldn’t have made dumb mistakes that could have been avoided by reading the AP Style book a little closer. Just one pass of that page in the stylebook would have been all it took to stop making that mistake for the next 3 years of my career, when I finally figured out what I’d been doing wrong.
“You see how I left off the quotes at the end of ‘wrong’? That’s the right way to do it.”

I guess everything worked out alright. I finally got my chance as a cub reporter covering cops and courts in my Dallas suburb, and worked my way up until I launched the company’s newest weekly publication. I was editor-in-chief of the largest circulation paper there at age 26. … At age 22, I really liked commas. Now at age 33, I like em dashes—like that one right there. Until I find out I’m using those wrong. For my own sake,–please, don’t tell me I’ve used my punctuation—wrong.

#IfIWere22 originally published on LinkedIn.com. 

 

 

“Which Panda Express locations in Dallas have Hot and Sour Soup?”

thumb-appetizers-hotsoursoupThat’s what I just Googled. I found nothing but outdated Yelp results, all of which made me insanely #hangry.

Most people would move on. Normal people. Not me. I really want drive-through hot and sour soup. So I continued my search.

panda express soup2

 

 

 

 

Make… soup…? No thanks.

panda express soup3

 

 

 

 

Apparently mandarin chicken and pork have disappeared from Panda Express. A hot issue! But not my issue. I decide I’ll create a movement. 

panda express soup4

 

 

 

I’m shocked to find there’s not already a change.org petition on this. Aren’t other people equally as bothered by the elusiveness of hot and sour soup in Dallas?

This isn’t a new issue for me.  As you can see below, I’d already tweeted @PandaExpress… and addressed my tweet to the Panda.

panda express soup5

 

 

 

 

Yes, the date is November 2012.

Today I’m still in search of Panda Express Hot and Sour soup. Whenever I see one, I’m always tempted to pull in and check. But I’ve done the walk of shame out of the drive-through so many times, I’m not sure I can handle that kind of rejection again.

So, Internet blogosphere, if I may ask one thing of you, I ask that you kindly let me know if you ever find Hot and Sour Soup at a Dallas area Panda Express. I would be ever so grateful.

 

 

Spring Clean Your Bookshelves with Amazon Buyback

Ready to spring clean? Consider selling your books to Amazon.com for free Amazon credit and gift cards. I’ve used Amazon’s textbook buyback–which is open to all books, not just textbooks–dozens of times and it’s worked great every time.

Here’s the how-to:
1. Visit Amazon’s trade-in store page and enter your book’s ISBN number, often found on the back cover near the barcode.

2. If Amazon is buying the book, it’ll show you the Trade-In Value. If it’s not (for example, if it’s not in demand, too old, a select paperback or sometimes self-published), it’ll say Did Not Match Any Products.

3. When you’re done entering books, click Submit and Select a Shipping Method–best methods are UPS via pre-paid label or USPS. Package your books in a box, adhere the shipping label to the outside, and voila!

4. In about 2-3 weeks, your Amazon credit will automatically be deposited into your textbook buyback account.

 

Shelby Skrhak: Journalist, blogger and southpaw