Commas, Commas Everywhere

I like commas. They’re kind of cute. Let’s face it, they actually look like a nervous period. They just can’t stand still. Or, they could be a whopsie when the writer slips with his pencil. Anyway, they are pretty important no matter how cute they appear.

I have been learning lately, that the comma is necessary. Especially for writers. I KNOW. Go figure. Every time I sit down with Jessica or Krissee, I’m flabbergasted by those cute little highlighted oopsies. “You need a comma here.” Well, darn it, I guess I do.

So, let’s do a little comma investigation. Just for tickles and giggles. The Comma was invented to help readers. Without it, sentence parts can collide into one another unexpectedly, causing misreading. (Rules For Writers 6th edition, Diana Hacker)

Excellent example of incorrect comma – read Eats, Shoots, and Leaves.

So, in other words, use a comma when… with absolute phrases; in addresses; with and, but, ect.; with contrasted elements; between coordinate adjectives; before coordinating conjunctions; in dates; with interrogative tags; before which or who; with yes and no; in numbers; with parenthetical expressions; with items in a series; after introductory elements; with mild interjections; with nouns of direct address; with quotation marks (dialogue); with titles following names; and to prevent confusion. 🙂

See a comma there…but not here: between adjective and noun, after although; after and, but, etc.; before concluding adverbial elements; between verb and object; with indirect quotations; before a parenthesis; after a phrase that begins an inverted sentence; after such as or like; before or after a series; before than; with a question mark or an exclamation point; after a phrase that begins an inverted sentence.

And the list goes on. Grammar is for the Young and Old. Oh, yeah, and for those in-between as well.  My mission, and it will be accepted, is to learn my commas like my new best friend.

So, Jessica and Krissee, you may put away your colored pencils. You ain’t gonna need those babies, no more. 🙂

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