Commas (Why We Use 'em)

Subject: Commas (Why We Use 'em)
From: Harold Snyder <ensnyder -at- EASTNET -dot- EDUC -dot- ECU -dot- EDU>
Date: Mon, 13 Nov 1995 14:35:05 -0600


Readers expect even technical writers to use proper grammar. One of the
quotes I try to have my students remember is "A comma and a coordinating
conjunction join two independant clauses (sentences)." If we (as writers and
editors) always follow the rules of grammar, readers may get confused but
not because of something we have done.

BTW, the comma signals sentence construction (No comma = simple sentence;
comma + coordinating conjunction = compound sentence; comma but no
coordinating conjunction = complex sentence; comma but no coordinating
conjunction that is followed by a comma = compund-complex sentence).

IMHO readers always pause every time they see a comma (they may not
understand why, but they always pause).

Good luck,

Hal Snyder

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