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comma counter

informal Someone who is fastidious to the point of excess, especially when editing writing. The managing editor is such a comma counter—it's so aggravating! Instead of giving meaningful criticism to help us write better, she just nitpicks us to death about obscure grammar rules.
See also: comma, counter

in inverted commas

Used to indicate that something one just said is untruthful, ironic, or disingenuous. ("Inverted commas" is another term for quotation marks, chiefly used in British English.) We were "taught," in inverted commas, by the teaching assistant, but we did most of our learning independently.
See also: comma
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

in inverted commas

COMMON If you say in inverted commas after or before a word or phrase, you are drawing attention to the word, and showing that it is not an accurate way to describe the situation you are referring to. So, in what sense do you see the students as disadvantaged, in inverted commas? I think that the assumptions of some people were that we would take democratic decisions, well, democratic in inverted commas. Compare with quote, unquote.
See also: comma
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

in inverted ˈcommas

(spoken) used to show that you think a particular word, description, etc. is not true or appropriate: The manager showed us to our ‘luxury apartment’, in inverted commas.
Inverted commas are another name for quotation marks (‘ ’) or (“ ”).
See also: comma
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017


n. a pedantic person; a pedantic copy editor. When you need a proofreader, you need a comma-counter.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Commas, they decreed, are not for breathing; they are for communicating information about the relationship between clauses in a sentence.
If there were a comma after "shipment," it might have been clear that the law exempted the distribution of perishable foods.
I think of him every time I consciously put a comma inside a quotation mark, as I just did.
The devil is in the details, specifically in the last comma. Since Bell Aliant wanted to sharply increase the pole rate and wanted the contractual flexibility to do that, it interpreted this clause as the right to terminate the agreement at any time, with one year's notice.
The writing center coordinator characterized the thinking behind the FANBOYS mnemonic for me as follows: "A comma and a coordinating conjunction (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, and so exclusively) work together as a meaningful semicolon: they join independent clauses that retain their independence once so joined.
But most authors just present a wide array of marks such as the caret, the asterisk, the index, the obelisk, the double comma, the eclipsis, etc.
We use commas to set off appositives (words that identify a preceding noun or pronoun) that aren't essential but add parenthetical information:
The other most frequently asked topic centered on using that ubiquitous, challenging mark: the comma. Even though rules for commas are far from absolute, tutors--like so many other writers--sought guidance on three uses of commas, areas about which many professional writers are unsure: after introductory elements, before coordinate conjunctions joining sentences, and preceding such as and as well as.
Concentrating on commas, it takes a simple sentence and shows how vastly different it can be with a little comma.
She said: "If young people leave school without the basic knowledge of where to use commas and apostrophes, it can deter them from wanting to apply for a job as this would entail filling out a form or writing a covering letter, as well as completing a CV.
Run-on sentences are complete sentences incorrectly strung together by commas. They are among the most common mistakes people make.
Which is down to lack of punctuation, especially commas. Consider your banner headline from July 17: ``Don't strip off and drink plenty of water to stay cool this summer''.