My Writers Circle

Writing => All the Write Questions => Topic started by: Chord on April 06, 2009, 06:20:46 AM

Title: Using the comma in anger
Post by: Chord on April 06, 2009, 06:20:46 AM
How to use the comma in anger

There are four main ways we use commas; compounds, qualifiers, lists and exclamations. Now, before I start, I donít claim to be an expert on this and Iím very much trying to give an accessible guide, not a learned discourse. I may have made some mistakes in here and Iíve written it from a UK not US perspective (though Iíve tried to keep it as international as possible). I hope this helps out a bit.

Compounds

Letís start with compounds. The comma is used to bang together a couple of ideas. Often both parts could stand as a sentence in their own right.

He groaned, he cried, he died.

My hand stroked his face, my hip stroked against his thigh.


Each part of the two sentences above could stand alone as a sentence. Using a comma instead of having two sentences binds the actions together and makes for an easier read.

Note: Be very careful doing this. Don't just stick a comma between two unconnected sentences. This is known as a comma splice and isn't good form.

e.g.  The project was doomed, I had to come up with a plan. (Wrong)

This is a pretty common mistake and needs to be watched for. A very similar error is the run on sentence, where you don't even slam a comma in

e.g. The project was doomed I had to come up with a plan.(Wrong)

If you really want to do this - slamming a semi-colon in can help or a connector such as , so

e.g   The project was doomed; I had to come up with a plan.
        The project was doomed, so I had to come up with a plan.


It is better to just leave them as two sentences in most cases though.

In the first sentence, writing it as, ĎHe groaned. He cried. He died.í actually has more dramatic impact. It is important to understand the drama created by the use of different forms of punctuation. Both ways are technically correct, yet they read differently.

Ok, lets look at another sort of compound. When you connect two independent clauses with a so, and, but, or, yet, for, etc Ė making a compound sentence

Iíve not finished that story yet, so I probably never will.

Iím tired of working, but Iím too poor to quit.


You can get more contentious sentences where there is a subtle difference in effect.

He wanted sex and she wanted cash.

He wanted sex, and she wanted cash.

That slight pause given by the comma in the second gives a definite emphasis on the second clause. Both are technically correct. Reading aloud is essential sometimes to fully appreciate the difference made by some commas.


Generally, where you have a connector such as and, or, but, etc, you donít need a comma.

He sat up and gave the angel a hard look.

We nodded our heads but none of us really agreed with what he said.

You could say that you are a poet or an unutterable idiot.

(Note, with the last one, put the comma in after poet and the insult has WAY more bite.)


Never underestimate the link between commas and breathing.  If you want to make something sound breathless, leave them out.

I grabbed my purse and my hat and my coat then changed my mind and got my other coat then remembered that Iíd forgot the dog and the baby and realised it was Saturday and I didnít have to go anywhere at all.

See what I mean?

There are all sorts of other cases to consider, but these are the main principles I think with compounds.

Qualifiers.

These are the commas between dependent and independent clauses. I know that starts all your barriers slamming down but it isnít really that difficult. All it is talking about is that the parts are connected.

Once weíve decided on the plot and the characters, then weíll decide on the genre.

Ďthen weíll decide on the genreí doesnít really stand on itís own Ė so itís dependent on the first part.  It is separate information. You can get qualifiers that restrict the first part.

I wanted to eat a ton of smarties, but only the blue ones.

Iíll go to the pictures with you, if you keep your hands in your pockets this time.

They walked along the ceiling, after each taking a pink pill.


They can also represent a digression from the main thread.

He took off his trousers, a particularly garish red and lime green pair, and waved them out of the coach window.

John, fresh from his bath, walked into the lounge and shocked his motherís sewing circle.

Even in this form they can be yet another direct qualification.

The most desirable, yet most distant, table in the place was occupied by a marmoset and his concubine.


In all these cases if you take out the middle bit the sentence would still make sense.

Note, if the inset bit IS directly relevant Ė donít use commas.

The men who were dressed in red were sent into the library.

A girl whose hair was on fire was refused entrance to the club.




Again, the qualifier can come at the start (adverbial phrases Ė but donít be scared by that)

From below, the demon could be heard singing Abba songs.

On his head, the gerbil started to tap dance.

Along the pier, a clown danced the tarantella with a pantomime horse.


Again there are exceptions to this

At sunrise the soldiers said their prayers and went over the top.

In the beginning there was the bucket.

On the stove the pot was bubbling.

You could use a comma in these, but it seems wrong. It is usually the case with a short beginning phrase that is strongly connected to the rest of the sentence. If in doubt, read it aloud. Quite often both ways are technically correct, so you have to assess the dramatic effect you are trying to achieve. (Yeah drama again. Iím a writer, not an editor. I LIKE drama.)

Ok, this next bit is a bit trickier to understand. If the beginning phrase is followed immediately by a verb Ė donít use a comma. Iíll underline the verb.

From the building descended a well-built man wearing a pan on his head.

Outside the toilet ran a stream of pink water.

From the roof jumped a frog of gigantic proportions.


Other places not to use a comma are where it breaks apart the sentence

The dusty red book, lay unread on the table.   (WRONG)

He whipped, the cream into a froth.  (WRONG)


Another area that creates confusion is with names or other tags for characters. Separate the beggars out with commas.


Bring me the towel, Frank, and liquidise the kittens.

Comrades, the time for revolution was quarter of an hour ago.

Friends, Pickles, Ferrymen, lend me your oars.

Ok, the last is strictly speaking using the comma as a list, which Iíll get to later. Itís a multi-purpose comma.

Also you can do the same thing to specialise something from a general class to a specific instance of that class.

Her friend, Henry Fields, was the conductor of the local orchestra.

A cat, Fragrant Nellie, sat on the winnerís podium.


Where Henry Fields is a specific friend of hers and Fragrant Nellie is a cat. You got that though, didnít you?


Lists

Iím not going to go into any great depth here. This is probably the least confusing use of commas. Separate the members of the list with a comma. Ok?

He entered the vast, silent, awe-inspiring library and farted.

Her coat was red, blue, pink, cerise and yellow but her knickers were missing.


Exclamations.

This isnít a major use of the comma but people do tend to get mixed up over it. Use the comma to separate out the initial exclamation.

Oh, donít tell me you forgot the baby again.

However, we must always remember to embezzle at least twenty percent.

Well, I think we got away with that Mr Fawkes.

Shit, I was supposed to do this in under a thousand words.



Ok, so there it is. My introductory guide to the comma. Iíve tried to approach it from a writerís perspective rather than an academic one. For the purists, I know Iíve lumped totally distinct cases together. My treatment of adverbial phrases is almost criminal and Iíve not gone into the seven different types of sentence structure and how the phrases, complements, objects, subjects and so on fit together. This was in the interests of not sending people to sleep.  ☺

Again, I donít claim to be an expert in this, and apologise for any mistakes. I've put this together while doing ten other things and haven't had the time to think out the examples as well as I could have. Feel free to correct my howlers. Perhaps it is a starting point for discussing the comma  that will help some people out. If so, Iím happy.


Chord

edit: poor compound example changed and note on comma splicing and run on sentences added.
Title: Re: Using the comma in anger
Post by: ma100 on April 06, 2009, 06:27:48 AM
Chord you are a Little beauty. I will be copying and trying to defeat my beasts with this.. :-* :-*
Title: Re: Using the comma in anger
Post by: Wolfe on April 06, 2009, 06:45:09 AM
That's outstanding writing on punctuation and technique.  ;D

Wolfe
Title: Re: Using the comma in anger
Post by: fire-fly on April 06, 2009, 06:45:26 AM
Good old Comma, a slippery little sucker indeed, this may help me as well, and I am no where near UK or USA.  ;) ;)
Title: Re: Using the comma in anger
Post by: Chord on April 06, 2009, 06:47:42 AM
Thanks guys. :) I reckon if I can sort the comma out, world peace is next on my list. ;D

Title: Re: Using the comma in anger
Post by: fire-fly on April 06, 2009, 06:53:49 AM
Ahhhh a member on the hunt for the Nobel Peace Prize ay. I love to see such ambition. The comma is definetely the place to start then.  ;D
Title: Re: Using the comma in anger
Post by: bonitakale on April 06, 2009, 07:34:54 AM

He groaned, he cried, he died.

I stroked his face, my hip rested against his thigh.




US here: The first is okay, because the clauses are so short, but the second looks like a comma splice to me, and would make me do a double take as a reader. I'd come to I stroked his face, my hip, and be expecting something else he stroked -- I stroked my face, his hip, the cat, and anything that would hold still to be stroked. Then I'd have to go back and read it again.

Maybe not in the UK, though.

Bonita
Title: Re: Using the comma in anger
Post by: Skip Slocum on April 06, 2009, 07:47:04 AM
Thank you, Cord, bonitakale, Wolfe, now all I need to do is try and remember this lesson, of fine writing.
Skip :D
Title: Re: Using the comma in anger
Post by: ma100 on April 06, 2009, 07:49:56 AM
Steal it Skip. Copy and paste it into a safe file. ;D ;D
Title: Re: Using the comma in anger
Post by: Chord on April 06, 2009, 07:51:10 AM
No, it's not a UK thing, just not a great example. I just wanted to show two sentences that could stand alone yet are directly connected. I don't quite agree that it's a comma splice but I do see your point.

A comma splice would be something like.

We couldn't finish the project, I had to come up with a plan.

I agree that it comes close  though. I think I had in mind something like ' I stroked his face, my hip brushing his thigh.' That doesn't really show what I wanted though so I jigged it a bit. ;D  Serves me right for being lazy. The essence is that there needs to be a common thread between the two clauses or you get a splice.

edit: Thanks Bonitake, I've modified the OP to reflect this and changed the example to a clearer one.

Title: Re: Using the comma in anger
Post by: ma100 on April 06, 2009, 11:01:45 AM
And so you should. ;D ;D ;D

Thanks Chord, I really appreciate this post.
Title: Re: Using the comma in anger
Post by: Spell Chick on April 06, 2009, 11:12:50 AM
Chord, this is brilliant.
Thanks.
Title: Re: Using the comma in anger
Post by: Xerika on April 06, 2009, 06:01:50 PM
Many thanks for this very useful summary, Chord.

I just have a couple of queries - not criticisms, I assure you.

With regard to compound sentences, my understanding is that the comma is included in Iíve not finished that story yet, so I probably never will because the second part of the sentence - I probably never will - could potentially stand on its own. On the other hand, the comma would be omitted in Iíve not finished that story yet and probably never will because probably never will could not stand independently. Sorry this is a bit garbled, but I just want to verify that I'm not the only one who's been working on this assumption.

I noticed that you cover 'run-on sentences' in your post. I've seen these referred to as if they were almost the work of the Devil and realised that I wasn't entirely sure what they were or why they were to be avoided at all costs. Any enlightenment would be most welcome.

I've put this together while doing ten other things and haven't had the time to think out the examples as well as I could have. Feel free to correct my howlers.

Well, since you ask, there's a wee typo in A girl whoís hair was on fire was refused entrance to the club. I call it a typo because I'm sure that's what it was. I'm not going to highlight it either because I'm not about to start teaching my grandmother to suck eggs.  ;D

P.S. Feel free to point out all the comma errors in my post.  ;D
Title: Re: Using the comma in anger
Post by: Chord on April 06, 2009, 08:54:47 PM
Quote
With regard to compound sentences, my understanding is that the comma is included in Iíve not finished that story yet, so I probably never will because the second part of the sentence - I probably never will - could potentially stand on its own. On the other hand, the comma would be omitted in Iíve not finished that story yet and probably never will because probably never will could not stand independently. Sorry this is a bit garbled, but I just want to verify that I'm not the only one who's been working on this assumption.

The second form lacks a subject in the 'probably never will' so isn't a clause as such. Which is just the same as you said but with the word 'subject' in. ;D So yep, I agree with you, but that is the reason. I think it would be classed as a phrase rather than a clause.

Quote
I noticed that you cover 'run-on sentences' in your post. I've seen these referred to as if they were almost the work of the Devil and realised that I wasn't entirely sure what they were or why they were to be avoided at all costs. Any enlightenment would be most welcome.

A run on is where you jam two sentences together for no good reason, without proper punctuation there.

He fell to the floor his head banged on the stone flags.

Clearly, there are two sentences there. They are over the same subject but that doesn't mean they belong together. It isn't evil really, just badly punctuated. As I said in the OP, there are a couple of ways to jam them together if you wish.

He fell to the floor and his head banged on the stone flags.
He fell to the floor; his head banged on the stone flags.


or the far more sensible

He fell to the floor. His head banged on the stone flags.


This is fairly blatant. You can get them more simply by skipping a comma/semi-colon etc.

Watch the cars driving by for ten minutes you will see at least one that is stolen.


Two complete sentences jammed into one. The more complex the sentence, the harder it can get to spot run ons.

Quote
Well, since you ask, there's a wee typo in A girl whoís hair was on fire was refused entrance to the club. I call it a typo because I'm sure that's what it was. I'm not going to highlight it either because I'm not about to start teaching my grandmother to suck eggs.  ;D

Well spotted. :) I've fixed it now. ;D I slag people off for making that mistake as well. LOL.
Title: Re: Using the comma in anger
Post by: BrazinBox on April 06, 2009, 09:02:37 PM
Thanks a lot!
Title: Re: Using the comma in anger
Post by: ma100 on April 07, 2009, 10:22:41 AM
Yet another bit of worthwhile information Chord.
Thanks
Ma :)
Title: Re: Using the comma in anger
Post by: Spell Chick on April 07, 2009, 05:45:13 PM
I have a question about commas used in lists.

I learned in school, back when we were still using stone tablets, the comma was not placed before the and, but or or.

However, I then read then learned the comma was to be used between the penultimate and ultimate things.

So I go to the store and buy apples, bananas, grapes, and watermelons now.
Except maybe I'm to go to the store and buy cereal, bread, potato chips and pretzels.

Does it matter? Is it geographically determined? Is the rule just a matter of being consistent?

Does that last comma belong there or not?
Title: Re: Using the comma in anger
Post by: Chord on April 07, 2009, 06:35:06 PM
It depends.

For the UK, the normal form is to not use the serial comma  ( , and ) - However it is often done to disambiguate a sentence(it's often called the Harvard or Oxford comma because they push its use).

The clearest example I've seen is for this is -

I spoke to the boys, Tom and Sam.      (Implies Tom and Sam are the boys)

I spoke to the boys, Tom, and Sam.      (Implies Tom and Sam are not the boys)

For the US I'm not sure. I've seen it used a lot more over recent years in American writing. I know this isn't a very clear answer but, as I said at the start, I don't claim to be an expert. Perhaps some of the state-side guys can give their take on it.


Title: Re: Using the comma in anger
Post by: Spell Chick on April 07, 2009, 06:41:45 PM
Thanks

Strunk & White say yes. I was taught no.

I see it both ways.

So I'm confused, bewildered, and bemused.

I'm so often confronted with things I don't know, never learned and need to find out.   ;D
Title: Re: Using the comma in anger
Post by: Chord on April 07, 2009, 06:58:21 PM
Perhaps we need alternate punctuation for the bemused.

I bought some apples AAARGH pears AAAARGH and bananas EEEK

Then we can use AAAARGH when we think some punctuation should appear there but we're not sure what, and EEEK (or similar) where we know the punctuation is different from the AAAARGH ones but we're still not quite sure what it should be. ;D

The Cambridge guide (UK thingy) says not to put it in. Strunk & white say do it. I reckon we should do it how we want, but just tell people which country they should read it in. ;D

There's a more serious discussion of it on wiki.   

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_comma

They don't make any definite statement either though so I guess we're all at sea on this one.
 


Title: Re: Using the comma in anger
Post by: Xerika on April 07, 2009, 07:36:28 PM
Chord AAARGH many thanks for your response to my earlier queries EEEK

I still seem to have a bit of an issue with the BAH run-on sentence CLOSE BAH thing even though I understand wrong punctuation EEEK Are we saying that any sentence with BAH and CLOSE BAH in it is wrong SQUIRLY SQUIRLY x 2 ;D
Title: Re: Using the comma in anger
Post by: Chord on April 07, 2009, 07:41:53 PM
Regarding what one is or why it is so bad? (The run on sentence).
Title: Re: Using the comma in anger
Post by: Xerika on April 07, 2009, 07:47:22 PM
Sorry, I hit the damn button before I'd finished.
Title: Re: Using the comma in anger
Post by: Chaucer on April 07, 2009, 07:59:06 PM
This is a fascinating post, as well as everyone's comments.  Thank you Chord for bringing this topic to our attention.  I shall re-read and try to learn something here...... ;)
Title: Re: Using the comma in anger
Post by: Chord on April 07, 2009, 07:59:52 PM
LOL - Ok, let's see if I read that right.

Is any sentence with 'and' in it wrong??  

No, course not.

A run on is where there are two distinct, stand-alone sentences that are incorrectly joined.

So

Watch a stream of traffic for ten minutes you will see one that is stolen.   - is incorrect, a run on.

Watch a stream of traffic for ten minutes, you will see one that is stolen. - is a comma splice (it is poor form because it is still a sort of run on sentence)

Watch a stream of traffic for ten minutes and you will see one that is stolen. - is good English - the 'and' is a correct join of the two sentences into a compound.

Watch a stream of traffic for ten minutes; you will see one that is stolen.  - is correct.

A run on just means that you have reached the end of the sentence and carried on into another one. If you compound the sentence with another using and ; or but etc then it is fine.
Title: Re: Using the comma in anger
Post by: Chaucer on April 07, 2009, 08:00:32 PM
Sorry, I hit the damn button before I'd finished.

 ;D ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Using the comma in anger
Post by: Chaucer on April 07, 2009, 08:05:20 PM
LOL - Ok, let's see if I read that right.

Is any sentence with 'and' in it wrong??  

No, course not.

A run on is where there are two distinct, stand-alone sentences that are incorrectly joined.

So

Watch a stream of traffic for ten minutes you will see one that is stolen.   - is incorrect, a run on.

Watch a stream of traffic for ten minutes, you will see one that is stolen. - is a comma splice (it is poor form because it is still a sort of run on sentence)

Watch a stream of traffic for ten minutes and you will see one that is stolen. - is good English - the 'and' is a correct join of the two sentences into a compound.

Watch a stream of traffic for ten minutes; you will see one that is stolen.  - is correct.

A run on just means that you have reached the end of the sentence and carried on into another one. If you compound the sentence with another using and ; or but etc then it is fine.


I agree....the last two sentences read much better.

A question chord....if this is dialogue in a story...do the same rules apply?   Just curious.   I don't remember ever seeing a semicolon in dialogue.    Forgive me if I'm straying off topic.  It thought the semicolon was more formal and to be used sparingly.    I will not be offended if you do not agree, however.   
Title: Re: Using the comma in anger
Post by: Chord on April 07, 2009, 08:16:51 PM
In dialogue you represent what is being said and how it is being said. It doesn't always have to be grammatically correct (very rarely is in fact).

As to the semi-colon; it depends on the writing style. It is rarely used in modern writing, particularly American writing. Commas tend to dominate. I was using it to represent a correct mechanism for binding two sentences. My preferred way of dealing with the above situation would be

Watch a stream of traffic for ten minutes. You will see a car that is stolen.

(Yeah I changed the text a little so it makes more sense) It's usually simpler just to split it into two sentences than complicate things by jamming them together.
Title: Re: Using the comma in anger
Post by: Xerika on April 07, 2009, 08:22:46 PM
Thank you, Chord. I can now rest easy in the knowledge that I wasn't going completely mad.

By the way, I have to agree that your example of the serial comma earlier is also the clearest I've ever seen.

Thanks for spending the time on all this. Much appreciated by more than just a few, I'm sure.  ;D
Title: Re: Using the comma in anger
Post by: Chaucer on April 07, 2009, 08:41:01 PM
Thanks Chord........very clear now. 
Title: Re: Using the comma in anger
Post by: bonitakale on April 08, 2009, 09:21:36 AM
It depends.

For the UK, the normal form is to not use the serial comma  ( , and ) - However it is often done to disambiguate a sentence(it's often called the Harvard or Oxford comma because they push its use).

The clearest example I've seen is for this is -

I spoke to the boys, Tom and Sam.      (Implies Tom and Sam are the boys)

I spoke to the boys, Tom, and Sam.      (Implies Tom and Sam are not the boys)

For the US I'm not sure. I've seen it used a lot more over recent years in American writing. I know this isn't a very clear answer but, as I said at the start, I don't claim to be an expert. Perhaps some of the state-side guys can give their take on it.


US here.  It's my impression that the comma before the last item was out (at the beginning of the 20th century), then in (mid-twentieth), and is now moving out again.  Here's a quotation from the 1930's (Percy Marks, Better Themes):
"In separating the elements in a series of words, it is now customary to place a comma before the final and."

Here's one from 1985 (Webster's Standard American Style Manual) (after mentioning the use of the comma to avoid ambiguity in a series):
"Most reference books, including this one, and most other book-length works of nonfiction use the serial comma. In all other categories of publishing, according to our evidence, usage is evenly or nearly evenly divided..."

I don't have anything more recent at hand, but it does seem to be used less often now. Personally, I go along with another sentence in the Merriam-Webster: "Others feel that it is easier to include the final comma routinely rather than try to consider each sentence separately to decide whether a misreading is possible without the comma."

Bonita
Title: Re: Using the comma in anger
Post by: Chord on April 08, 2009, 07:38:00 PM
Thanks Bonita. I think this line of discourse just goes to show that comma use isn't always simple. All I can suggest is that you try and be consistent whichever path you choose to take.
Title: Re: Using the comma in anger
Post by: eric on April 08, 2009, 09:35:40 PM
Well, Chord, this is a very fine and well-tempered essay on the comma, excellent work.  I've learned more about the differences between UK and US English -- I reside in the latter.  You may have done with the serial comma, but if one more comment is helpful, here it does seem to be entrenched.  I take as my text the Chicago Manual of Style, 14th ed., mid-1990s which still rules the colonists in most respects despite a subsequent edition of CMOS. 

"Attending the conference were Farmer, Johnson, and Kendrick." ... "We have a choice of copper, silver, or gold."  -- 5.57

Although I learned both the rules SpChick refers to, this is the one that I learned is correct--and the one the English deny.  But go ahead, it's your language too.

CMOS 14 extends this rule to the slightly easier case of serial clauses:

"Harris presented the proposal to the governor, the governor discussed it with the senator, and the senator made an appointment with the president."   -- 5.31

If I may, what is the full name of the Cambridge guide you refer to?  Do they sell it in the western hemisphere?   :)  Anyway,

Cheers.

p.s.  For my dear friend Xerika, may I just add that whenever we feel the need to add punctuation to his writing or correct the dog, we use (with a weird gutteral sound):

EHHHH.
Title: Re: Using the comma in anger
Post by: Chord on April 09, 2009, 03:22:21 AM
Cambridge Grammar of English. Quite a good reference to English usage, including many of the differences between UK and US grammar. Unless the UK is no longer part of the western hemisphere following the G20 talks, yes they do sell it here. :)

So, there we have it, the serial comma. A lovely beast, ripe for the slaying. America is a rich hunting ground for it, while we seem to have hunted it to near extinction in the UK. It's probably down to all those silly beggars that used to go fox hunting.

Title: Re: Using the comma in anger
Post by: Spell Chick on April 09, 2009, 09:38:36 AM
I read an article about a British town or region actually trying to ban the apostrophe, but never the lovely comma.

Dear me.
Title: Re: Using the comma in anger
Post by: Chord on April 09, 2009, 11:32:17 AM
That was Birmingham. It is only nominally part of Britain and can be all yours for a quite modest fee.
Title: Re: Using the comma in anger
Post by: Xerika on April 09, 2009, 08:51:00 PM
Dear Mr (or even Ms?) Chord,

I wish to complain in the strongest possible terms about your blatant denigration, outright vilification and downright snottiness with regard to the fine city of Birmingham. [Please note absence of serial comma.]

As the mayor of England's second (by only two votes, I might add) city, I cannot begin to... blah, blah and etcetera.

Yours sincerely,

etcetera, etcetera.

I'm not a Brummie myself, but I'm surprised you haven't been deluged with something like this yet. Perhaps there aren't any Brummies on MWC. If there were, perhaps you'd receive responses that were more like:

Yo, Chord. Roight, well, yo stop takin' the whassit outta Brum or the lads'll like 'ave yo. Roight? Nuff said, kiddo? Roight? Ah.

I'm going to run away now and leave you to take the flak, but not before responding to eric's scurrilous remark...

p.s.  For my dear friend Xerika, may I just add that whenever we feel the need to add punctuation to his writing or correct the dog, we use (with a weird gutteral sound):

EHHHH.


Well, EHHHH is a tad preferable to EEEWWW, or however you colonials spell the damn thing, old boy.  ;D
Title: Re: Using the comma in anger
Post by: Conor on April 09, 2009, 09:11:36 PM
Chord...

Your illumination of the comma totally blew my mind.  I only throw in a comma where it sounds good.  I know there are rules for the comma but could never keep them straight.  But I'm not really a writter any way I just play one on my spare time.  But really, thanks.  And I'm going to take Ma100's advise and store this little jewel away.
Title: Re: Using the comma in anger
Post by: Chord on April 09, 2009, 11:45:36 PM
Mayor Xerica,
                   I was in Birmingham when the French were testing their last nuke in the Pacific. I saw several of the residents wearing T shirts that pronounced. 'Oi Frenchies. Don't goo droppin bombs in the Pacific. Birmingham is way closer and you'd do less damage!'  ;D

Anyway, do your worst. My street name has an apostrophe in it, so you'll never find me.

Mr or Ms Chord.



Conor, glad I could help. ;D
Title: Re: Using the comma in anger
Post by: ma100 on June 30, 2009, 11:23:25 AM
Hi Chord
I wondered if you would mind adding an example about the comma use at the end of dialogue to your piece. Mainly with the use of action breaks and he/she saids etc. :-* :-* Enquiring minds wish to know. So does this dope. ::)

Ma
Title: Re: Using the comma in anger
Post by: katarina66 on December 13, 2011, 04:38:35 AM
There is a very good book called 'Write Right', which acts as an ideal quick reference on common grammar mistakes.
Title: Re: Using the comma in anger
Post by: detectivearavind on February 12, 2012, 01:49:58 PM
Thank you so much!!

Commas and I have never worked together very well.
Title: Re: Using the comma in anger
Post by: Dawn on February 13, 2012, 03:46:52 AM
Thanks Chord. ;D
Title: Re: Using the comma in anger
Post by: Alice, a Country Gal on August 08, 2013, 10:06:11 PM
I'm locking this topic due to its age. Plus the fact that is a good reference on comma usage and I want it to be of aide to members, but not brought forward with new post.