Sign of a Deadline

July 22, 2005

For breakfast: cappucino-, licorice- and lemon-flavored jelly beans.

Thought Process: Consider how the audience might misinterpret that statement if it were written as, Cappucino, licorice and lemon jelly beans.

Not Thought: Jelly beans are not for breakfast.

Noise: Fluke, “Kitten Moon”



  1. lemon=fruit

    I don’t understand why this is wrong?

  2. Jellybeans are more of a lunch dish. At breakfast, you’re gonna want to go with something like Skittles.

  3. I find that a banana Laffy Taffy at breakfast provides you with the potassium needed to make it through the day, plus some witty material to use on your coworkers.

  4. Those hanging hyphens, they just kill me. I don’t know what it is about them. They just look so untidy to me. I can’t make myself do it, so I waste tons and tons of time trying to think of some different structure for the sentence.

    But the real problem, of course, is that the serial comma before the “and” is missing.

    “I’d like to thank my parents, John Lennon and God.”

  5. Ah, Jeff. The serial (or “terminal”) comma is a battleground for me. I’ve been taught that they’re excessive and cluttery, and I’ve been told that they’re “just easier” and clearer. I agree with both extremes, but as I am forced to use them at work, I choose not to use them at home. So the absense of my serial comma is a tiny punctuation vacation.

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