Little thoughts: serial commas, numbers, and transportation issues

I’ve noticed that there are often things that I read online that are interesting and worth mentioning. But sometimes I don’t feel that I could make an entire blog post out of these things. I’ve decided to collect these items into posts I’m calling “Little Thoughts.”

Linda Holmes’ blogpost “Going, Going, And Gone?: No, The Oxford Comma Is Safe … For Now” at the NPR Monkey See blog answered a lot of questions about the serial comma. I distinctly remember being taught the serial comma in high school English. However, then I started realizing that no one did that (rendering many sentences confusing) or insisted that a semi-colon was necessary instead. Long live the serial comma!

I tried the little test in the beginning of “China’s Numbers Are Shorter Than Ours” in both English and Chinese. I noticed that I could remember more numbers using Chinese compared to using English. I do think the beginning of the title should be changed to “Chinese numbers.” I don’t think numbers belong to a country, but numbers are distinguished by a language.

For all the checks we go through to board a plane these days, how is it that someone was able to get on a plane with a mismatched boarding pass? Some details are described in “Wrong Name, Wrong Date, Yet Let on a Jet.” I also did not realize an university student ID was considered a government-issued ID.

Since I no longer live in Los Angeles, I don’t need to think about the construction that will be closing a stretch of the 405 from July 15-18 (“Motorists warned about ‘nightmare’ of 405 closure”). I can’t imagine that freeway to be any worse than it already can be. I believe the officials are serious when they suggest people stay at home.


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