Do you go into a coma when someone starts talking about commas?
Don’t get bit by the deadly comma coma bug! Figure out how to make the comma work for you, not against you!
The purpose of all punctuation is to clarify your thoughts and ideas so readers can enjoy and understand the book!
Did you have a teacher that told you, “whenever you feel the need to pause, insert a comma”?
WORST ADVICE EVER!
When we are writing, we naturally pause to think. That is not necessarily where a comma needs to be.
Commas have a number of rules. My favorite site to use – and to introduce to my students – is the Owl at Purdue. Their comma usage explanations are clear and detailed.
One of my editor-friends believes the comma used for introductory words, phrases, and clauses is “going the way of the dinosaur.” While I agree that some people and publications seem to think so, I think it’s still a valid and needed use. [I’ve used introductory commas in this blog – one was in the previous sentence, “While I agree…]
The Fanboys rules is the easiest to remember; however, because of the number of teachers giving the pause advice, I get sentences that look like this:
The Rams won but, not everyone was happy.
We sometimes punctuate our speech this way for emphasis, but you can’t hear tone in these words, and it’s just wrong. < this sentence contains correct use of the fanboys rule.
My students often ask me to explain the whole “Oxford Comma” disagreement. Well, it goes like this: There are people who use the oxford comma and then there are monsters!
Commas are confusing, but they’re not impossible to learn. Any editor is going to appreciate the correct use of commas regardless of how much they appreciate or introductory comma. 🙂