Category Archives: Literary

Oxford Comma – to use, or not to use?

I happened to find this pic on my FB timeline:

Grammarly on Facebook
Source: https://www.facebook.com/grammarly/photos/a.158139670871698.33824.139729956046003/846877501997908/?type=1&theater

The graphic itself was hilarious. But apart from that, it brought back memories of an age-old controversy. The Oxford Comma – a debate probably as old as literature itself.

In school, I was taught that ‘using a comma just before a conjunction is a crime. Period’. That stuck. For a long long time. And being the dork that I was, I chose to blindly believe it.

I thought it would be appropriate that this matter get some limelight on my  small lil’ blog.

Just before I composed this post, I did a brief research (read ‘surfed online’) about it, and although it didn’t settle the debate, it made me change my allegiance. I now publicly declare that I support the use of Oxford comma, Harvard comma, or serial comma.

Why did I write this post?  Because I come across a lot of fellow-bloggers who excel at writing. And many of you adore the concept of grammar. I, for one, am obsessed with it. (not to imply that I am a master at it). But lets just say that whenever I see a grammatical mistake, I feel uneasy, restless, and irritated.

So, this is for all you grammar-lovers out there.

You can read more about this fascinating debate here, here, here, and here.


After you vote, do visit this site for a fun fact – http://tinyurl.com/mhjvftd

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The Upstart Crow!

Jack of all trades, master of none

I came across this phrase and was toying with it since morning. I wondered about its origin and who might have framed it. Who else better than Google to answer my question.. So after a li’l googling, I came across some very interesting facts which I wish to share. I say interesting because it relates to a very popular literary figure. For those who are curious, this is how it goes…

Back in the late 16th century, there was a very popular English author called Robert Greene who had apparently authored scores of literary works.

Enter William Shakespeare – author, poet, playwright and actor. He shot to fame in the literary world, first as an actor who slowly started writing plays and poems which are masterpieces even today. Greene did not trust ‘actors’ because they stole the show, became heroes in the eyes of public and handsomely paid. On the other hand, authors were beginning to get ignored and did not receive their worth even as a lack of copyright laws belittled their work.

Groatsworth
Source: Wikipedia

So, in 1592, when Shakespeare was in his late 20s, Greene penned ‘Groats-worth of Witte, bought with a million of Repentance‘ in which he attacked Shakespeare for being a Jack of all trades (and master of none).   Greene referred to Shakespeare as the ‘upstart crow‘ in his works, a title which remains associated with him.

Greene left for his heavenly abode that same year (1592) and Shakespeare went on to create history as we know it today.

 Now you know all about the ‘The Upstart Crow’! 😀


Disclaimer: None of this research is mine. This information is merely a brief compilation. All credits go to the respective owners and all rights remain with them. You can visit the websites directly for more extensive info:

  1. Wikipedia – Robert Greene
  2. Wikpedia – William Shakespeare
  3. Literarygenius.info
  4. phrases.org.uk