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Graphic explaining when to put commas and periods inside quotation marks and the difference between American grammar and British grammar.

What Punctuation Taught Me About Changing Your Mind

As a university student, my professors often pointed out my error when I put the period or comma outside the quotation marks. It happened several times before I learned my lesson. Then, later as a professor myself, I often pointed out to my students that periods and commas always go inside the quotes. It almost …

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Background is a messily erased chalkboard and in the lower right corner is "And Justice for all?" written in a font that kind of looks like white chalk.

And Justice for All?

The words of the United States Pledge of Allegiance rolled off my tongue so easily as a child. I said the words almost without thought, a Pavlovian response to the bell indicating school had begun. Now, a parallel forms between, “justice for all,” and “all lives matter.” Both are said with an idealism that we …

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Dark gray background with light colored vertical bars with "Comfort Zone" written in bold black letters

My Comfort Zone is Really a Cage

As a woman, particularly as a white woman, I have been socialized to get along with others. I learned this from my parents, from my teachers, from friends and family, and from the media. Women are supposed to be supportive caregivers. The idea that we must go along to get along is the first bar …

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Photo of Mary with the text: Weekend Chats: Mary Silwance

Weekend Chats: Mary Silwance

“She was born with the gift of being able to see sharply into the belly of the earth, and with that ability comes the responsibility to speak of what she sees, no matter the difficult truth of it. Her voice is startling in its resonance and depth. She loves the complexity of language and will …

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