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Mary Norris, The Comma Queen of The New Yorker, with Patt Morrison
The Goethe Institut of Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA
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Mary Norris, The Comma Queen of The New Yorker, with Patt Morrison
Ever wonder how The New Yorker manages to be, well, perfect all the time? It's not just that it features writers who know how to string two sentences together, or that its regular contributors are considered to be the best in their respective field.  We at Writers Bloc know that English is a language fraught with land mines in usage and grammar, so we  heap a great deal of the credit on the wonderful Mary Norris, the self-proclaimed "Comma Queen" of The New Yorker, who helps them appear even smarter than they might be.  In her new book, which is part memoir of how skill and great good fortune landed her a job there decades ago, and part grammar lesson, Queen Mary doles out grammar bits that we wish we had retained, or even learned, when we were younger. Unlike any of our grammar and language teachers,  our gracious Queen is hilarious, with stories that sneak in the proclivities of the English language that confounded us when we were in high school, and still do. Our Comma Queen is not daunting and intimidating-- she is forgiving and funny as she indulges us in our willful assault on the English language.  She teaches us when to use "that" or "which," and reminds us when to use a single or a double dash, or even both. And she gives us the most wonderful ride while saving the language from grammatical ruin.

If May Norris is the Comma Queen, Patt Morrison might very well be a Viscountess of Verbs, or a Marchioness of Modifiers.  Whatever title she holds, she is a word nerd of the highest order, and is as playful with the language as is our Queen Mary.

Do not be afraid, good people: this is not an evening with The Manual of Style. This will be fun! Entertaining! Funny! Full of stories and gossip about The New Yorker!


The Goethe Institut of Los Angeles (View)
5750 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
United States


Arts > Literary

Kid Friendly: Yes!
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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