Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Secrets to Writing Secrets Of Writing

I love articles like this one but - geez - I just get so hacked off with "apostrophism" and "redundant, excessive, and unnecessary, comma use," especially where said flaws actually remove the meaning from the headline:

"The 7 Secrets to a Fiercely, Loyal Community of Readers"

Ummm. Actually. No...

I don't need "7 secrets to a fiercely and 7 secrets to a loyal community of readers" - I need "seven secrets to a fiercely loyal community of readers." The comma has actually weakened the whole meaning of the header.

The way it's written just creates two sentence fragments connected in a vaguely hopeful fashion by a comma. Just take out the comma.

Remember, kids, never, ever, should you, like, uh, use, yeah use, that's it, an inordinate amount of commas, unless they actually help, um, help to parse the sentence, into, like, you know, logical parts...

2 comments:

George Bolam: InZaneCountry said...

Actually, your comma use there is perfect, as I'm sure you know. The truth is, it's not a well contructed sentence, though I occasionally use stuff like that, as you did, for effect...

The rule I use is simple. If, when you speak the sentence out loud, you pause slightly, as you say it, a comma may be appropriate. However, if in doubt, you could rearrange the sentence:

'When you speak the sentence out loud, if you pause slightly when you say it, a comma may be appropriate..'

Personally, I get irritated by the missing comma's..

teddlesruss dat who! said...

Hehehehe - caught me out being pedantic with my commas. %)

I enjoyed the article I refer to none the less.

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