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Dissabled Dave

English pedant. I hate the use of apostrophes instead of quotation marks to indicate speech in writing - why did people start doing that? Was it to save a minuscule amount of ink in printing? - which leads to confusion as in: He said 'I said he left James' bike at St James' but Robert said it was not St James' but St Olaf's' so did he say what he heard Robert say or did Robert join the conversation at the "but"? I've actually seen an entire paragraph like that! The only way to be clear is to work through all of the apostrophes and try to work out which ones should have been quotation marks. So for quotations use quotation marks, that is why they are called that. Apostrophes are for ownership and missing letters.

I also use the Oxford comma because its non-usage leads to confusion as in: the sandwiches available were tuna, cucumber, cheese and tomato and bacon. So is the final set a sandwich with all three ingredients, cheese and tomato as one sandwich, with bacon as another, or a cheese sandwich with a separate tomato and bacon sandwich? "cheese and tomato, and bacon" or "cheese, and tomato and bacon" makes it clear.

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