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Posted 15 September 2003 - 10:48 PM
The problem is that in my high school English teacher taught us to put a comma everywhere you pause (take a breath) when you read a sentence out loud.
My old high school buddy just informed me that she learned it that way too, so now we chuckle everytime we place a comma in a sentence.
What is the trick and proper way to remember where to place a comma?
Posted 16 September 2003 - 03:41 AM
Posted 16 September 2003 - 06:11 AM
The "breath equals comma" rule is not a bad rule of thumb to follow, but should probably be accompanied by one additional rule. Do not ever use a single comma between a subject and its verb. For example:
"Trusting completely and positively in one's mate is necessary in marriage."
There is a strong tendency for many readers to pause slightly between "mate" and "is," but that pause does NOT equate to a comma. The only thing that can separate subject and verb is a coordinate clause, and that always requires at least two commas.
Yep, Danny's right. Either buy the book or use the on-line version.
Posted 16 September 2003 - 06:30 AM
Posted 16 September 2003 - 06:44 AM
Posted 16 September 2003 - 08:13 AM
LOL @ Jill.
I've always tended to over-comma (did I use the hyphen right?) also.
Not only did you use it correctly, but I think you just created a new verb in the process.
Over-commaing, for me, is less irritating than over-ellipsing, though. (And aren't neologisms fun!)
Posted 16 September 2003 - 08:19 AM
Posted 16 September 2003 - 08:35 AM
The problem with correcting your own writing is that you know what you meant when you wrote it. The trick, and it's certainly not easy, is to relate to a first time reader who comes to your text without the knowledge of what you meant. Will s/he understand it?
Still really tough to correct your own for some reason.
The other components of correcting your own writing are time and effort. Neither of which we seem to have enough of these days.
Writing is like so many other endeavors, 5% inspiration and 95% perspiration.
Posted 16 September 2003 - 08:54 AM
Things like setup and set up get me, too.
Posted 16 September 2003 - 09:23 AM
Setup is a noun, and set up is a verb: "I can't seem to set up this new system properly, because the setup of the owner's manual is incomprehensible."
I rarely see people using the ellipsis too much, except in cases of emails. However, advertising overuses and misuses everything. What gets me is the way they turn a word or two into a sentence:
You want to refinance. But can you? Really? Easily?
Yes. You can. Really. Easily.
Posted 16 September 2003 - 10:20 AM
Well, the reason "advertising" does it that way is to be conversational. Yes, copywriters (myself included) break up sentences. To most people, it makes the reading "lighter" and more friendly. The goal is to write like most people talk.
Sorry if I've ever offended you indirectly through copy I've written on sites you've visited!
Posted 16 September 2003 - 10:21 AM
My punctuation is horrible in forums. I do know how to do it properly but I tend to write as I think and not pay attention. It's more like talking to me and I punctuate as I go. Sorry about the ellipses, Ron! I'm a huge offender. I like semi-colons too; I probably use them more than I should. And then there are hyphens- I like to have variety in my punctuation.
Posted 16 September 2003 - 10:28 AM
I am the worst offender for the ellipsis transgression (if it's more than one, is it ellipsi?).
I never use the semi-colon, as I don't THINK with semi-colons. Like Scottie said, I just type the way I'm thinking. Although I am starting to notice my fondness for commas..................
Posted 16 September 2003 - 10:33 AM
And Karon, you're forgiven.
Posted 16 September 2003 - 10:48 AM
I've always done 1 2 3 space. Many others do space 1 2 3 space. And some do no spaces... just 1 2 3 and keep on going.
Thanks, Bob. I feel much better!
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