Most of us newbies have a regular job and squeeze in writing when we can. The experts are always telling us that, to get into the habit of writing, we need to write every day. I can attest to the “becoming a habit” part of this – through a tale of the EEEP family Christmas gift tags.
In the early hours of a late-December evening, I was busily gift-wrapping some foolishly-purchased, headache-inducing, battery-chewing Christmas gifts for my kids. The children were all sound asleep. Mr EEEP was parked in front of the television “watching his eyelids”, and I was absorbed in the festive task of wrapping presents to place under the tree.
All was going well. These particular gifts were symmetrical, rectangular/square shapes; making it quite easy to achieve perfect, crisp edges I so craved. I had learned my lesson from last year!
The trouble began when I pulled out the gift tags. Oh, sure, the ones that were “From Santa” or “Love from Mum and Dad” were no trouble. But, eventually, I arrived at the final gift: “Dear Daddy”.
There I sat, pen poised, torn between my educational upbringing of strictly not using the Oxford Comma, and the “habit” that had been drilled into me over the past two years through regular editing for a client whose material requires me to insert the controversial Oxford comma at every turn.
“Love from Lachlan, Violet, and Peyton” or “Love from Lachlan, Violet and Peyton”?
All alone at the dining room table, surrounded by gifts, I surrendered to my new habit and dutifully went with the Oxford comma – feeling every bit the traitor to the Australian school system.
For a humorous look at the controversial Oxford comma, check out: http://agbeat.com/editorials/the-case-oxford-comma/
Emma is a freelance editor and writer who got her start at Newbie Writers three years ago. In her previous career she was an accountant, but escaped the numbers game to envelop herself in the literary world.