Enjoying ComPost

The Washington Post isn’t one of the newspapers I normally read online (mostly I stick to the Muscatine Journal and the Wall Street Journal), but I think I’ll be visiting their site more often in the future. Not for the news – though I might read that too – but to read ComPost by Alexandra Petri, who “puts the ‘pun’ in punditry” according to the blog heading.

I found it to begin with by clicking on Google’s Doodle today, honoring Gregor Mendel’s 189th birthday. I had nothing in particular in mind to blog about this evening, and figured that something worthy of a Google Doodle probably also merited a blog post. But I was pretty sure I remembered having done that a previous July 20.

(Oddly enough, it turns out that I wrote that post July 22, 2008, based on what I found at infoplease.com. I checked tonight, and infoplease.com still shows that Gregor Mendel’s birthday is July 22. From wikipedia, I found out that his birthday is July 20; July 22 is often cited, but it is the date of his baptism, not his birth.)

Anyway, the first hit I saw was “Gregor Mendel’s naughty peas and our GM future.” I had no idea what could have been naughty about Mendel’s peas but I decided to find out. I was hooked with the first line: “It started off innocuously, in a garden. These things often do.” I admit I had to stop and think a moment to understand the allusion. Then I smiled, knowing I was going to enjoy reading the rest of the post. And I did.

I can’t say I enjoyed all Petri’s posts as much as the first one I read. Part of it, I suppose, is that they tend to deal with topics at the forefront of many people’s attention, but that I have little or no knowledge of. I had seen headlines about phone hacking recently, but hadn’t read any articles. I heard other people’s opinions about Casey Anthony, but chose not to learn details of the case. I’m not sure I had even heard of Charlie Sheen. (Is he an actor? A musician? A politician?)

But “Save the Oxford Comma! A Grammar Nazi’s Plea” is definitely worth reading. I didn’t even know what an Oxford comma was, at least not by name. But grammar is something I know and appreciate, unlike news about celebrities. Plus it’s just plain well-written. How often do you see punctuation compared to endangered species? Or the economy?

Good writing is probably an endangered species also. But I’m glad to find some of it at ComPost.

About these ads

2 Responses to Enjoying ComPost

  1. Peter L says:

    Good articles! I am sending the grammar one to my daughter, who is the only person I know who adamantly insists on using the Oxford comma.

    As for celebrities- I agree. The news is all “bread and circuses” now, and we know what happened to Rome because of that attitude.

  2. modestypress says:

    Pauline, you may delete this comment.

    “we know what happened to Rome because of that attitude…”

    I am not for “bread and circuses,” but I am SO tired of “sound bite” clichéd summaries of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 37 other followers

%d bloggers like this: