Grammar nerds and comma queens

Comma QueenI spent an enjoyable and amusing evening last night at a bookshop event featuring Mary Norris, author of Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen.  

Mary is a copy editor at the New Yorker magazine where she began work in 1978. I bought the book months ago after reading a review in my local newspaper. Being a trained language teacher who is often annoyed by the poor grammar I encounter in everyday life, I thought this is one for me!  It didn’t disappoint and I thoroughly enjoyed the delightful mix of memoir, tales of life at the New Yorker, and insights into correct grammar and New Yorker style.

Mary Norris


Mary was a warm, witty and  good-humoured speaker who was appreciated by all the grammar nerds in attendance. She bought along her comma crown which I unfortunately didn’t manage to capture in a photograph.  It was made for her by a friend and it had dangling silver commas made from different typefaces.  Pet peeves, hyphens and all matters grammatical were discussed with glee.

If you have even a mild interest in good writing I am sure you would enjoy it. Perhaps a Christmas gift for those writers in your life?



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