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The Brown Noser

Joan Didion Essay Has So Many Commas

Published Friday, December 3rd, 2021

Reading Joan Didion’s 1967 essay “Goodbye to All That” for an introductory nonfiction course, sources report that it has so many commas. “There must be 30 commas on this page alone,” reported sophomore Anya Tripp-Melba, scanning a rambling sentence that spanned half a page of Didion’s iconic essay which dissects her complicated relationship with New York City. “Everywhere you look there’s a comma — here’s a sentence about working at a magazine that is just a list of things separated by commas. This essay is comma city!” At press time, the essay had so many run-on sentences.

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