Language problems

We often see the same language problems over and over again in the manuscripts we receive. Here we discuss some of the more common problem categories.

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The serial comma

The serial comma is the comma that appears before the conjunction that signals the last term in a series–the comma in front of and in red, white, and blue. Some journals, especially those in Europe, do not use the serial comma. In the US, the serial comma is used by academic presses and by some journals, including The New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, and Science. SciWrite also uses the serial comma.

Serial commas eliminate potential ambiguity and their omission confers no benefit.” Jef Raskin

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"Understanding" books

Tower of Babel

Tower of Babel, Pieter Bruegel the Elder (ca. 1525-1569)