The Importance of Commas

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/feb/15/winston-churchill-essay-alien-life-discovered-us-college-are-we-alone-in-the-universe

Churchill essay on the possibility of alien life discovered in US college

That’s the published headline. At this remove, I think that we’d all agree that a fair number of aliens can be found in almost any college. [snerk]

For clarity, let me edit this a bit:

Churchill essay on the possibility of alien life, discovered in US college

There, that’s a little better.

Best part:

Step by step, Churchill reaches a view and expresses it a final sentence that mixes despair with optimism. He writes: “I, for one, am not so immensely impressed by the success we are making of our civilisation here that I am prepared to think we are the only spot in this immense universe which contains living, thinking creatures, or that we are the highest type of mental and physical development which has ever appeared in the vast compass of space and time.”

That’s within hailing distance of “Beam me up, Scotty: there’s no intelligent life down here.” But far more elegantly expressed.

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