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.

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