Then there's the weather person after the lunch time NE BBC NEWS who tells me "it could be a bit more drizzlier."
I'm tired of the grammatical errors that creep into everything. Does no one under the age of fifty understand the rules of grammar? I console myself with the thought that at least they got the new signs for Hadrian's Wall Country correct. I know it is easy to make mistakes and the paragon who never makes a mistake does not live - but if I was going to pay good money for a banner the size of a double decker bus and plaster it up in public, I'd make very sure I got it right. And perhaps the worst thing of all is that younger people don't see it, don't feel their hackles go up, don't know what the problem is. And who works in advertising agencies? Grrr.
I read of something called an Oxford comma the other day. Do you know what this strange creature is? No, I didn't either, in spite of having a degree in English Language, so I thought I'd better find out. So here goes - in the sentence The flag is red, white, and blue the Oxford comma is the one after the word white.
In Britain, standard usage is to leave it out. In America, standard usage is to leave it in.
Arguments can be made both ways. Some sentences seem to need it, and others do not. So then it becomes a matter of personal style and choice.
My critique group has a lot of fun with commas. Some take them out, some put them in, and some take no notice. Both the sentences below are correct:
It was a dark, stormy night.
It was an endangered white rhino.
The rule is that you use a comma where and would fit, as in a list. ie The night was dark and stormy.
But the second sentence is not a list. In other words, the rhino was not endangered and white.
(Thanks to Lynne Truss (Eats, Shoots & Leaves) for the example)