Monthly Archives: August 2008

Comma (not)

The Copyeditor’s Handbook author Amy Einsohn offers a clear and simple rule for one of the cases in which a comma is not appropriate: Do not insert a comma between a subject and the second member of a compound predicate. … Continue reading

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Syntax Afflictions Contest

I just LOVE sentences with syntax afflictions. Here are two for your enjoyment. In a future post, I’ll mention the first person to send in cures for both of them. His wife was in the studio, a radiating woman named … Continue reading

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Restrictive vs. nonrestrictive clause (a comedian’s view)

Georg Muntingh in Norway wrote that my recent post about the comma and restrictive and nonrestrictive clauses reminded him of something comedian Demetri Martin once said. According to Georg, Demetri told of a time that he was in a clothing … Continue reading

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Comma (and restrictive vs. nonrestrictive clause)

In a previous post, I wrote that using a comma after an introductory dependent clause is standard practice, no thinking required. To refresh your memory, here’s a sentence that begins with an introductory dependent clause: If you’d like to go … Continue reading

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Comma (after dependent clause)

As a general rule, use a comma when a dependent clause precedes an independent clause. The sentence above is an example of the rule it describes! “As a general rule” is incomplete; it can’t stand on its own. That makes … Continue reading

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Comma (with coordinate adjectives)

Okay, folks. It’s time to tackle when and why to use the comma–and when and why not to use it. I may as well jump right in with coordinate adjectives, “a pair or series of adjectives” about which the Copyeditor’s … Continue reading

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Dangling Modifier

A few weeks ago, I heard this ad on the radio: Like most Americans, your bills are probably keeping you awake at night. Take a good look at this sentence. Notice that unless your bills possess a kind of magic … Continue reading

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