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English / Comma Rant!!

In tutoring Nancy, I’ve had to brush up my knowledge of the English language a bit, most especially the proper use of a comma in formal writing. I knew most of these rules already, but some of them I’d forgotten. I’ve always been pretty good at picking out trouble spots as far as grammar goes, and finding ways to fix them. I’ve also had to come up with creative ways in explaining the comma to Nancy, so she could understand the reasons behind its placement.

However, after all the help I’ve given Nancy, I’m firmly of the belief that the comma is the world’s most frustrating punctuation mark ever. If you ever wonder why it feels like the comma is being used too much, just check out the APA guidelines for the proper use of a comma!

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
adamdray
Aug. 8th, 2007 07:59 pm (UTC)
I dunno. It all seems pretty reasonable to me. The only rule with which I disagree is the formality of #1's insistence to put a comma between independent clauses. I think one can omit the comma safely in those cases.

The game was over but the crowd refused to leave.

The student explained her question yet the instructor still didn't seem to understand.

Yesterday was her brother's birthday so she took him out to dinner.
nynrose
Aug. 8th, 2007 11:35 pm (UTC)
That's the one I was mainly referring to. It feels very awkward to go through every single one of Nancy's sentences to make certian she has the punctuation where it belongs properly. She's getting better at it, and recognizng more and more mistakes, but it still feels awkward in reading the text (even if I might already instinctually write that way!)
snarlingbadger
Aug. 10th, 2007 04:58 pm (UTC)
I'm amused that the link you provided is for Purdue. Yay for my alma mater! Especially since it's known for its science fields, not its language arts.

Dad & I geeked about homophones last night at dinner, and the horrific grammar he's had to deal with, teaching comp courses at the junior college.
nynrose
Aug. 10th, 2007 05:05 pm (UTC)
This is the link Nancy's English prof at AIU gave her as a reference when dealing with commas.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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