Recent Reads is Coming Around on the Oxford Comma

One thing we can all agree on in these polarizing times: Nothing gets the juices flowing after a busy week like talk of punctuation!

So we start this edition of Recent Reads with a tale of how one much-debated punctuation mark affected an actual court case. Also, we find out what happened to that guy whose kids barged in on his live TV interview, look at whether the privacy profession needs a code of ethics and learn about the life lessons of Villanova basketball coach Jay Wright.

Oh, and what do video rental stores and Richard Simmons have in common? They both still exist.

With that, here’s Recent Reads.

An Oxford comma changed this court case completely – Oxford comma enthusiasts, rejoice! The lack of the much-contested comma decided the fate of this court case – due to ambiguity, of course. Will this be the tipping point in bringing the Oxford comma into favor? Probably not, but it’s a good reminder to double-check that your sentences actually mean what you want them to mean. – Stephanie Burke

When the Children Crashed Dad’s BBC Interview: The Family Speaks – Most people, including myself, are getting a good laugh out of the BBC clip of Robert Kelly in which his kids swaggered into his interview on the impeachment of South Korea’s president. But it also drummed up controversy, as some viewers assumed the South Korean woman who came in to round up the kids was the nanny instead of Kelly’s wife. That issue aside, the article highlights the challenges that come with live guest interviews and the conveniences and risks created by advances in technology. While Kelly thought this would affect his future as a guest commentator, it’s certainly done the opposite. I highly doubt any future broadcast interviewees will ever forget to lock their door. – Tana Watanabe

The Life Lessons of Villanova’s Jay Wright, the Anti-Coach – It’s hard not to get swept up in the excitement of March Madness, especially when your alma mater is the number-one seed in the country and returning to defend the NCAA title. But to me, the more interesting aspects of all this are the personal backstories, and the hard work, dedication and experiences that shape these uber-talented coaches and players. Hats off to you, Coach Wright, and best of luck this year! – Kevin Iredell

The Last Video Chain: The Inside Story Of Family Video And Its $400 Million Owner – Visiting relatives in recent years, I’ve marveled that Family Video locations still exist while Blockbuster and other video stores have … well, gone the way of Blockbuster. Family Video has survived through a combination of smart meat-and-potatoes business decisions, hard work and cultural relevance in rural America, among other factors. – Paul Wilson

Should the privacy profession adopt a code of ethics? – The debate about a privacy industry ethics code is fascinating given Greentarget’s regular work with many of the top legal minds in privacy and cybersecurity. Obstacles to establishing a clear code of ethics include the diversity of the privacy industry (e.g., various areas of expertise from IT to legal) and the tug toward a compliance-driven, as opposed to a privacy protection-based, profession. Even more interesting, and perhaps confounding, is the fact that a privacy ethics code may be at odds with many lawyers in the field, lawyers who focus on compliance and are “ethically bound to their clients, not the data subject.” The fact that it’s a discussion is heartening in the current environment in which ethics seems to be up for grabs. – Pam Munoz

We All Love “The Fearless Girl.” But What About Fearless Women?  Last week, to celebrate International Women’s Day, the “fearless girl” statue was installed in Manhattan’s Financial District. It signifies workplace gender diversity and seeks to encourage companies to put women on their boards. However, this article argues the statue sends the wrong message, being that it is a girl rather than a woman. The statue stands strong and takes up space, but “Somewhere down the road through adolescence and into womanhood we are told to put those akimbo arms down by our sides, lest we make a mess like a bull in a china shop.” – Sarah Rocca

GT Podcast Recommendation

Missing Richard Simmons – Yes, that Richard Simmons. Three years ago the fitness guru with the colorful personality just disappeared. He cut all ties with close friends and stopped teaching classes at his fitness studio, Slimmons. His disappearance is especially strange given how accessible he had been over the years. The new podcast from Dan Taberski, a filmmaker and friend of Richard’s, seeks to find out where Richard is and why he left. Throughout, Dan explores popular theories as to what happened to Richard, including my personal favorite that he is being held captive by his maid. Dan gets to the bottom of these theories by interviewing those who knew Richard best. As the podcast progresses, these theories get even stranger. Through it all, “Missing Richard Simmons” is a fascinating blend of pop culture and mystery. I dare you not to become obsessed. – Tyler Rabel