All (should) hail Mary Norris, a.k.a. the Comma Queen

I will admit that, until a month ago, I had never heard of Mary Norris. Now I can’t get enough of her.

The infamous “comma queen” has been the copy editor for the New Yorker for more than thirty years; many an author has her to thank for catching and correcting potentially embarrassing punctuation errors and misspelled words. As a writer, Norris combines humor with valuable grammar tips in her book Between You and Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen, a read I highly recommend to general reading audiences as well as editing professionals (the writing is so engaging that you won’t even realize you’re learning).


Norris is just as charming in person as she is on the page. Watching her Ted Talk “The nit-picking glory of the New Yorker’s Comma Queen” only made me more impatient to hear her speak at the Editorial Freelancers Association National Conference later this month in New York City.

In the meantime, I’ll definitely be renewing my New Yorker subscription.