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September 13, 2019

If I add an Oxford comma, does that alter the piece enough for me to claim it as art?

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Constant very close readers (I'm thinking Asperger's spectrum) will have noticed that for over fifteen years โ€” since boj's 2004 inception, in fact โ€” I've added Oxford commas (above) to New York Times stories (below).

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The Times still refuses to use them, though every couple years it takes a moment to explain why that's still the case.

It occurred to me today that I could make an argument that my additions create a new version of the articles, such that the Times would lose if it took me to court to stop me from republishing its pieces in their entirety as I've been doing all along.

Another leg of my defense would be that I add links to the Times' stories, creating another barrier to claiming theft of intellectual property.

Of course, the best thing that could happen to me would be to be sued by the Gray Lady: the resulting kerfuffle would raise my pretty much invisible profile big-time.

A man can dream.

September 13, 2019 at 04:01 PM | Permalink


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