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0257 The Girl, the Gold Watch, & Everything

March 29, 2012
  • Title: The Girl, the Gold Watch, & Everything
  • Canon: The Girl, the Gold Watch & Everything
  • Language: English
  • Country: USA
  • Format: Paperback
  • Year: 1965
  • Publisher: Fawcett
  • Collection: Gold Medal
  • Collection #: K1513
  • Cover Price: $0.40
  • Cover Artist: Unknown


Although it’s a great story, this cover does nothing for me, which allows me to don my grammar hat instead of doing something useful. I was taught basic grammar, spelling, and cursive handwriting in the USA. Just as I was getting the hang of it, I moved to New Zealand where the English style of each was dictated and my American accent derided. After this poor child finally got retracked, he was willy nilly sent back Stateside where such things are not tolerated, except for bullying, which is, and so my “English” accent caused me great travail in junior high school. Amazingly, I can spell quite well, but I know two ways of writing each letter, two ways of using punctuation within quotation marks, and two ways of using commas in lists. Fortunately, American schools have solved the handwriting problem by simply not teaching such nonsense any more, although way too late to help me.

So there are two ways to punctuate a list: the American (“wine, women and song”) and the English. British. Whatever. (“ale, birds, and football chants”). Fawcett can’t seem to make up its mind which way is correct and so uses both indiscriminately. This cover uses the English method. British. Whatever. Other publishers use “and” instead of the ampersand and one dropped the second “the”.

All this to make the point that people do things differently and one shouldn’t be beaten to a pulp because of it. I’m speaking to you, Jay. Did you ever graduate from junior high school?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Warren Shrimpton permalink
    March 29, 2012 7:30 pm

    To throw my threepen’th in. I always thought you weren’t supposed to put a comma before the and. Was I taught wrong at school ? Am I stupid ? I’m strange enough to actually investigate this.

  2. March 29, 2012 10:50 pm

    You can put the last comma in if you want, but you should be consistent. Sometimes if your list consists of multi-word items, you really need that last comma. (And only one space between sentences–not two! That is a leftover from typewriter days. With proportionally spaced font, one space is enough.

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