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30 Copy Editors Tell Us Their Pet Peeves

"Oxford comma or not ... can't we just get along?"

Originally posted on
Updated on

More than 500 copy editors (over 500 copy editors? does it really matter?) often attend the Society for Editing (ACES) annual conference, and we thought this would be a great place to find out what really grinds the gears of some self-professed word nerds. The conclusion? Opinions as split as infinitives and a lot of support for the singular "they."

We asked a room full of copy editors and copyediting aficionados, "What's your grammar or word pet peeve?" Here are their responses:

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Want more thoughts about grammar gripes and how we communicate online? BuzzFeed's former copy chief, Emmy Favilla, wrote a book, and you can preorder it now!

Inside A World Without “Whom”: The Essential Guide to Language in the BuzzFeed Age, out November 14, you'll find thoughts on language, memes, and emojis, and even snippets from BuzzFeed quizzes and lists! Get it from Amazon for $17.68, Barnes & Noble for $18.02, or a local bookseller through IndieBound here.

And if you're looking for more grammar and style fun on Twitter, follow BuzzFeed’s copydesk @styleguide!

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All photos by Emmy Favilla for BuzzFeed.