HUMANS OF THE PFISTER | SEPTEMBER 2016 | Back-to-School edition | “Knowing What to Say, When, and How”
No one cares anymore about the Oxford comma–or for correct language in general. I don’t like the loss of that. I want to hold on to some things that work. Because language matters–it’s communication. You want to be careful what you say and how you say it. Precision matters, too. Communicating directly and precisely–it’s a lost art. I can give you an example: “I was helping Uncle Jack off the horse.” What you capitalize or where you put the comma–it matters, doesn’t it?
How do the three of us know what the other one’s going to play? Or when to start playing? Well, Mark, Scott, and I have a shared vocabulary. If you and I were English scholars, we could have a conversation about English literature from 1700-1750 and we’d know what we were talking about. We wouldn’t know what we were going to say, necessarily, but we’d understand each other.