Confessions of a Comma Whore


Ok, truth… you only clicked on this article because of the title? Not why I did, I happen to be a comma connoisseur (also an advocate for the Oxford comma). No, but seriously, she has some great advice and it’s well worth the read if you don’t use some of the tools she has listed (I actually use Grammarly, and it’s great).

COW PASTURE CHRONICLES

Do you have a grammar sin? You know, that one irritating grammar rule, you consistently get wrong. Well, I do. I’m a comma whore.  I tend to place commas the way I speak and not according to accepted grammar rules.

I first wrote about this issue in 2012 and since that time believed  I’d conquered that grammar demon (for the most part). Unfortunately, I’m sad to report, she’s reared her ugly head again and in the most  humiliating way.

I’m in the process of publishing a collection of short stories and when I received feedback from my editor, I almost fainted (not really). The comma whore had dance all through those stories as if designing a roadmap.

Needless to say, I had revisions to do. In the spirit of helping others who suffer with me, here are some helpful resources. Beyond that, it might take counseling.

Resources for the Comma Challenged:

Strunk & White

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10 thoughts on “Confessions of a Comma Whore

  1. I used to tell my students, “You folks seem to grab a handful of commas and throw them at the page, hoping some will hit the right places. Let’s review.”

    I finally came up with the idea of circling each place where there was a comma error, writing the number of the rule in the margin. They were then to look up the rule in their handbooks and make appropriate corrections. Amazing things began to happen. They actually started to see the sense behind the rules 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It works only if each student has his own grammar handbook. I honestly don’t know if public schools are still teaching out of the books we used–Warriner’s Handbook of Grammar and Composition. Great little book.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Commas are apparently lighter these days – they’ve disappeared from their proper stations and have floated up like little helium balloons to every word ending in S. STOP THE OVERAPOSTROPHICATION OF AMERICA and put commas back as the anchors of phrasing! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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