Mystery of the comma, unsolved.

grammar rulesI have spent most of the day putting in a comma and the rest of the day taking it out. — Oscar Wilde

How can something so little make you feel so stupid?

It’s just a punctuation mark. It separates things.

I don’t seem to have a problem with the rules of the apostrophe, quotation mark and period.

My misuse of this powerful little symbol has been known to keep me from clicking the publish button. When I finally do, I can intuitively hear some of the grumbling out there. Have chosen to ignore it and embrace those of you that don’t grade my paper.

I bless the day of Twitter when the series of … (3) periods came into view. When in doubt…it’s a beautiful thing!

Working with copy editors, the last year, has given me a new appreciation for those brilliant souls that have absorbed the 21 (the number rule in grammar states that you should use numerals for numbers greater than nine.) punctuation rules of the comma.

I was somewhat surprised to see, in the second edit, that my punctuation wasn’t as bad as I thought. It gave me a warm feeling to know that my extensive knowledge of at least three of the rules of the comma would suffice and Word would find the rest.

So with that in mind, I have decided that instead of taking the time to memorize the remaining rules, I will try to commit to creating my documents in Word to take some of the pressure off.

If you want to test your “Rules of English” knowledge…check out The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation by Jane Straus. Truly the best online resource, (there may be a comma there) I have found for grammar and punctuation.

And what does a comma do, a comma does nothing but make easy a thing that if you like it enough is easy enough without the comma.  — Gertrude Stein from Lectures in America

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6 thoughts on “Mystery of the comma, unsolved.”

  1. I’d like to make another suggestion here. “The Elements of Style” by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White is an awesome little book that comes handy in times of grammatical despair.

    Thanks for the share. Enjoyed it.

    -BrownEyed

    Like

  2. As a former English and ESL teacher trained in linguistics – where usage rules — I love non-rules about commas. My favorite is to use it to pause, but I love hyphens and dot dot dot.

    Like

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