I was riding home on the "L" after a long day at work, staring off into space instead of at my phone like usual, when this sign next to the exit doors caught my attention. For those of you who don't know Chicago, the "L" is what we call our subway system. Sometimes spelled "el," … Continue reading Grammar lessons from a train
My daughter's name is Tess. She's cute and all, but the fact that we named her "Tess" poses punctuation challenges. When making her name possessive, should it be "Tess' birthday party" or "Tess's birthday party?" If you think there's an easy answer, you're wrong. We could skirt the issue entirely by calling her by her … Continue reading Those gosh darn apostrophes
While we're still in the season of voting, I thought I would announce the results of the informal poll I took to determine whether now was the time to stop capitalizing "Firm" as part of my efforts to revise our stylebook. Here is the tally: Don't capitalize: 24 Do capitalize: 21 Total votes: 45 Now … Continue reading Firm vs firm: The vote is in
Someone smart once said you have to pick your battles. That's particularly true at Baker McKenzie, where trying to effect change can feel like attempting to shift the direction of the Seawise Giant – the largest oil tanker ever built. Twice as long as the Titanic, she had a rudder that alone weighed 230 tons. … Continue reading Should we capitalize “Firm”?
In the world of punctuation, quotation marks are often misunderstood. They are misused and abused in everything from signs, placards, and product packaging to marketing brochures and company newsletters. In fact, there are entire websites dedicated to mocking incorrect usage of quotation marks. To find out whether your writing could end up on one of … Continue reading Are you “using” quotation marks correctly?