Where Commas Fear to Tread

What a comma CAN’T do  ‘Not commas again’, I hear you groan. Well... yes, because I promised (or threatened) a post about semicolons. Semicolons step in where commas (should) fear to tread. Editors frown when two independent clauses (or complete sentences, if you prefer) are joined by a comma. They call this a comma splice... WRONG … Continue reading Where Commas Fear to Tread

Comma Conventions, Part 3

How are you managing with my comma compilation so far? Needless to say, there is more. Some words, such as who, which, and whose, bring comma-plications of their own. Essential or nonessential information? Whether you use a comma or not often depends on whether the clause is essential to the sentence, or nonessential. For instance… … Continue reading Comma Conventions, Part 3

Continuing Commas, Part 2: Comma Categories

I started making notes about commas after a former colleague asked for help with a job application. I made notes for him on my edits and when I wasn’t sure why I wanted to change something, I checked online. That was when my investigation ran away with itself; there was much more to commas than … Continue reading Continuing Commas, Part 2: Comma Categories

Comma Conundrums, Part 1: Rotating Sentences and the Oxford Comma

Do you remember when they told you at school that commas indicate a pause in the sentence? Wrong! (Okay – maybe it was only primary school…) I have a piece of editing software. (Mine is ProWritingAid; other editing software is available.) I use it for a final check, and its reports regularly tell me I’ve … Continue reading Comma Conundrums, Part 1: Rotating Sentences and the Oxford Comma

Looking for Clues

Since taking to the keyboard, I've found that basics I thought mastered at school have deserted me. When did commas become so complicated? I don’t have all the answers, but they're out there somewhere. Here are some things to keep in mind while you're looking for them. Seek a second opinion – or three. Some … Continue reading Looking for Clues

Laughter Lines

I was into my sixties when I began writing. Most successful writers took half a lifetime to hone their craft. Us silver scribblers have less time to smooth out those wrinkles in our writing that identify an apprentice wordsmith. This blog is about my own writing wrinkles. (You may prefer to call them laughter-lines but … Continue reading Laughter Lines