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9780199536924: The Kill (Oxford World s Classics.


Grammar lovers today were saddened, shocked, and mightily displeased at the news that the P.R. department of the University of Oxford has decided to drop the comma for which it is so justly famed. As GalleyCat reported , the university's new style guide advises writers, "As a general rule, do not use the serial/Oxford comma : so write 'a, b and c' not 'a, b, and c'." Cue the collective gasps of horror. The last time the nerd community was this cruelly betrayed, George Lucas was sitting at his desk, thinking, "I shall call him Jar Jar."

There are those who disagree. The AP and New York Times eschew it, and everyone knows what a bunch of hacks that lot is. Here at Salon, meanwhile, I can now reveal that for years one of our great roiling internal tumults was over the serial comma. Our house style, imposed largely by the recently departed despot King Kaufman , was opposed to it. I am, clearly, violently in favor of it, and have spent the better part of the last 15 years enduring the pain of watching our editors systematically remove it from my stories. Oh, how it burns!

Why, in a world where "M I RITE?" constitutes a legitimate conversational volley, would anyone care about an Oxford comma? It's precisely because grammar -- don't even get me started on spelling -- has become so expendable that it's conversely become so precious. A friend tells of a text she got prior to a first date with a new man that read, "I'm looking forward to seeing you, too." As she puts it, "A comma before the 'too'? Nobody does that anymore. I saw that and thought, 'I'm in luuuuuuuv.'"

I'm not saying the serial comma works perfectly before every "and." It certainly shouldn't be employed if you're not describing a series -- hence the term. If you're discussing "my friend, a gentleman and a scholar" and you're using "a gentleman and a scholar" to characterize your friend and not two other people along for the ride, a comma there would be a bad idea. But for clarity in list-making, for that sweet pause of breath before the final item in a group, the serial comma cannot be  topped.

UPDATE: In response to the outrage, Oxford University reassured distraught grammar fans today that its comma drama had been greatly exaggerated. Maria Coyle of the university's press office stated that the edict to eschew the serial comma was only for press releases and internal communication, and  furthermore "is not new, it's been online for several years already." The Oxford Dictionary's site has also added a new blog post Thursday, reasserting its tough, pro-comma stance. New Hart's Rules live. Long live Hart's Rules.

Grammar lovers today were saddened, shocked, and mightily displeased at the news that the P.R. department of the University of Oxford has decided to drop the comma for which it is so justly famed. As GalleyCat reported , the university's new style guide advises writers, "As a general rule, do not use the serial/Oxford comma : so write 'a, b and c' not 'a, b, and c'." Cue the collective gasps of horror. The last time the nerd community was this cruelly betrayed, George Lucas was sitting at his desk, thinking, "I shall call him Jar Jar."

There are those who disagree. The AP and New York Times eschew it, and everyone knows what a bunch of hacks that lot is. Here at Salon, meanwhile, I can now reveal that for years one of our great roiling internal tumults was over the serial comma. Our house style, imposed largely by the recently departed despot King Kaufman , was opposed to it. I am, clearly, violently in favor of it, and have spent the better part of the last 15 years enduring the pain of watching our editors systematically remove it from my stories. Oh, how it burns!

Why, in a world where "M I RITE?" constitutes a legitimate conversational volley, would anyone care about an Oxford comma? It's precisely because grammar -- don't even get me started on spelling -- has become so expendable that it's conversely become so precious. A friend tells of a text she got prior to a first date with a new man that read, "I'm looking forward to seeing you, too." As she puts it, "A comma before the 'too'? Nobody does that anymore. I saw that and thought, 'I'm in luuuuuuuv.'"

I'm not saying the serial comma works perfectly before every "and." It certainly shouldn't be employed if you're not describing a series -- hence the term. If you're discussing "my friend, a gentleman and a scholar" and you're using "a gentleman and a scholar" to characterize your friend and not two other people along for the ride, a comma there would be a bad idea. But for clarity in list-making, for that sweet pause of breath before the final item in a group, the serial comma cannot be  topped.

UPDATE: In response to the outrage, Oxford University reassured distraught grammar fans today that its comma drama had been greatly exaggerated. Maria Coyle of the university's press office stated that the edict to eschew the serial comma was only for press releases and internal communication, and  furthermore "is not new, it's been online for several years already." The Oxford Dictionary's site has also added a new blog post Thursday, reasserting its tough, pro-comma stance. New Hart's Rules live. Long live Hart's Rules.

Herman Webster Mudgett (May 16, 1861 – May 7, 1896), better known as Dr. Henry Howard Holmes or more commonly known as H. H. Holmes , was an American serial killer of the 19th century. [3]

While he confessed to 27 murders, [4] only nine could be plausibly confirmed and several of the people whom he claimed to have murdered were still alive. He is commonly said to have killed as many as 200, though this figure is only traceable to 1940s pulp magazines . [5] Many victims were said to have been killed in a mixed-use building which he owned, located about 3 miles (4.8 km) west of the 1893 World's Fair: Columbian Exposition , supposedly called the World's Fair Hotel (informally called "The Murder Hotel"), though evidence suggests that the hotel portion was never truly open for business. [5]

Besides being a serial killer, Holmes was also a con artist and a bigamist , the subject of more than 50 lawsuits in Chicago alone. Many now-common stories of his crimes sprang from fictional accounts that later authors took for fact; however, in a 2017 biography, Adam Selzer wrote that Holmes' story is "effectively a new American tall tale – and, like all the best tall tales, it sprang from a kernel of truth". [5]

H. H. Holmes was executed on May 7, 1896, nine days before his 35th birthday, for the murder of his friend and accomplice Benjamin Pitezel. During his trial for the murder of Pitezel, H. H. Holmes confessed to numerous other killings. [6]

At the age of 16, Holmes graduated from high school and took teaching jobs in Gilmanton and later in nearby Alton . On July 4, 1878, he married Clara Lovering in Alton; their son, Robert Lovering Mudgett, was born on February 3, 1880, in Loudon, New Hampshire . As an adult, Robert became a certified public accountant, and served as city manager of Orlando, Florida .

Holmes arrived in Chicago in August 1886 and came across Elizabeth S. Holton's drugstore at the southwest corner of South Wallace Avenue and West 63rd Street in Englewood. [20] Holton gave Holmes a job, and he proved himself to be a hardworking employee, eventually buying the store. Although several books portray Holton's husband as an old man who quickly vanished along with his wife, Dr. Holton was actually a fellow Michigan alumnus, only a few years older than Holmes, and both Holtons remained in Englewood throughout Holmes' life and survived well into the 20th century; the idea that Holmes killed them is strictly fiction. [5]


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