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Colloquium on Writing

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When reviewing a document someone else has written or receiving feedback from others on my own writing, there is one word that I, like most other serious writers, strive never to utter or hear: Comma.

Everyone has an opinion and his/her own writing style vis a vis the use of commas, the most abused and overused item of punctuation in the English language. Want to start a heated debate among writers? Just ask one simple question, duck and run, because there is likely to be vociferous disagreement about the answer to this query:

“Should there be a comma after that word?”

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“Sensory overload.” We’ve all heard that phrase. It has become a cliched part of our vernacular. For instance, when deadlines and activities at work start to make us feel frazzled, we tell our colleagues, half-jokingly, “I can’t hang in. I’m on sensory overload here.”

The phenomenon is being studied by the experts and every day, it seems, there is another news story about the impact that technology and all of the communicative devices we use every day are having upon us. We are all connected to each other perpetually through our cell phones, blackberries, computers, etc. But are we really connecting with other human beings in a meaningful fashion or just superficially? That’s a question for the sociologists to answer in years to come.

For me, the question has become, am I really connected with my internal self? Some days the honest answer is “no.”

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