Re: Comma, Comma, Comma (Should we or Shouldn't we) -Reply

Subject: Re: Comma, Comma, Comma (Should we or Shouldn't we) -Reply
From: Diane Williams <DWILLIAM -at- WALCOFF -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 8 May 1995 12:35:06 -0500

RE: David Castro's reply to

>>The Tech Writer was bright, articulate, knowledgeable, and computer
literate.
or
The Tech Writer was bright, articulate, knowledgeable and computer
literate.<<

>The first one is more correct, in this case. When you look at parallelism,
you will see that the second sentence indicates that the Tech Writer was
literate with knowledge and computers. The first one says that the Tech
Writer was knowledgeable, and was also computer literate.<

I disagree. This is not an example of parallelism illustrating your point.
Your point is actually defeated because of parallelism. The whole issue is
the use of the serial comma. Both sentences say the exact same thing.

Your analysis that the second sentence says the Tech Writer is "literate
with knowledge and computers" I don't agree with precisely because of
the way you wrote it! You disproved your own conjecture. If your analysis
were true, the Tech Writer would be bright, articulate, and knowledge and
computer literate.

Because the sentence is structured with "knowledgeable," an adjective
(as are "bright" and "articulate"), the adjective "literate" only modifies the
noun "computer" and not the adjective "knowledgeable." Adverbs can
modify adjectives, adjectives can only modify nouns.

To say "the Tech Writer is bright, articulate, knowledgeable[,] and
computer-literate," with or without the serial comma, would actually make
the sentence crystal clear, although it really isn't necessary because the
adjective directly follows the noun is it modifying.

~~Diane Williams
dwilliam -at- walcoff -dot- com


Previous by Author: RTChew e-mail address please!
Next by Author: Comma -Reply
Previous by Thread: Re: Comma, Comma, Comma (Should we or Shouldn't we)
Next by Thread: Re: Comma, Comma, Comma (Should we or Shouldn't we) -Reply


What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads


Sponsored Ads