Re: Comma question

Subject: Re: Comma question
From: Karen Felker <akaren -at- earthlink -dot- net>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 23 Jul 2013 12:55:37 -0700

Thanks to everyone for all your valuable input. After more discussion with reviewers, the sentences have been rewritten to ensure clarity and coherence.


On Jul 22, 2013, at 10:55 PM, techwr-l-request -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com wrote:

> Date: Mon, 22 Jul 2013 12:15:13 -0700
> From: Lauren <lauren -at- writeco -dot- net>
> To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Subject: Re: Comma question
> Message-ID: <51ED84C1 -dot- 3090901 -at- writeco -dot- net>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
> You received a lot of good suggestions and some suggestions may have
> said too much.
> One rule of commas in the sense that you may be using this one is that
> the parts of the sentence that are separated by the comma should work
> when their positions are switched and the comma is removed. For example,
> "2, 1" would be "1 2" and make logical sense either way. Your sentence
> fails this test, since it screams for the comma when the phrases are
> switched, even when you add the missing object.
> It is really not clear from your sentence construction what the phrase
> is qualifying. Is it events, numbers, or actors and events? If it
> qualifies numbers, then put it after numbers. If it qualifies events,
> then replace the comma with "that are." If it qualifies actors and
> events, then delete the comma.
> Whatever the case, I think the sentence needs a rewrite. It is awkward.
> Lauren
> On 7/19/2013 9:28 AM, Karen Felker wrote:
>> A reviewer is disputing my use of a comma in this sentence that describes a clustering algorithm: "Assigns numbers to actors and events, based on natural groups called clusters."
>> I want to defend this comma, but I'm not sure how to do that. Does "based" introduce an adverbial phrase, because it describes the assigning process?
>> I find it confusing to change the sentence to say "Assigns numbers, based on natural groups called clusters, to actors and events."
>> Same with this rewrite: "Assigns numbers to actors and events. The numbers are based on natural groups called clusters."

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