The English language has an extraordinary phrase “face control.” It might come as a surprise to you that the word actually came into English from Russian. It is one example of so-called reborrowing. The term was born in the Russian language during the “wild ’90s” in CIS countries.
Back then, at a time when people in the post-Soviet countries were beginning to make big bucks for the first time, upscale nightclubs were springing up like mushrooms after warm summer rain. Bouncers, usually dressed in crimson jackets, would stand outside each of these nightclubs and allow in only people whose socio-economic status matched the club’s rank. What they were actually performing was what came to be known as “face control.”
Everything foreign was deemed expensive and worthy of respect, so the term itself appeared under the guise of an English phrase, thus suggesting that “face controlling” was something popular in the West, i.e., everyone does it there, so we should do it too because we are upper class. The interesting thing is that foreigners are actually annoyed about such sorting.
The phrase “face control” was to be imported into English later. Actually, due to the fact that it was a “loan phrase,” it was even as feis kontrol. It took some time for English speakers to realize that these were their own English words which had somehow found their way into the Russian language and been transformed. Some English-speaking people might even struggle to guess what it means and you’ll find it hard to find an English dictionary that refers to the term.
This is no idle issue for Mary. She is not only a linguist; by some quirk of fate, her own last name ends in s. Norris’ or Norris’s?
In English, the situation with generally accepted standards is complicated. Thus, every major publishing company has to develop its own regulations or follow any of the already existing style guides.
At The New Yorker, this burden lies with Mary Norris. She works there since as far back as 1978. Due to her thoroughness and diligence, she has been dignified with the title of the Comma Queen. There is even a separate article about her on Wikipedia.
Mary Norris has her own playlist on the YouTube channel of The New Yorker with an obvious name—Comma Queen. It contains 2–3-minute videos where she explains the most amusing aspects of English, such their as a singular pronoun, Oxford commas, who/whom, etc.