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Punctuation Pet Peeve: 5 Ways to Misuse a Comma


Updated: September 12, 2018

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  1. What amazes me is that Danielle Steele, a very successful author, is probably one of the worst offenders of comma splices. I truly believe she only writes part of her books. In my opinion, more than one person is writing them. In the beginning,chapters, there usually are NO comma splices. Then, all of a sudden, they become rampant in the subsequent chapters. Anyone else ever notice this, or is it just me?

  2. Great article! learnt a lot about the use of commas! Please remind me which edition of the Chicago Manual of Style I should get. Thank you!

  3. This reminds me of the "Oxford Comma Dispute" that was settled in 2018. The dispute cost a Maine dairy $5 million in overtime pay to it's drivers due to a missing comma.

  4. This is exactly what I need today!!! I stopped working on my essays to review the use of the comma. Thank you for these great tips. I took notes.

  5. Thank you Caitlin, Great article!

    I just listened to a blog by Diane Tinucci, a retired English Professor, about this very topic of the misuse of commas. She is very entertaining if you ever have a chance to listen to her.

    I am not a fan of the new trendy versions of words that are replacing the correct, in my opinion at least, versions of standard words.
    Here are just three of my pet peeve examples:

    Congrats for Congratulations. Congratulations is a lovely sounding word that flows off the tongue; whereas congrats sounds like it makes a splat.

    Invite for Invitation. Invitation is a noun. The tangible object one can hold in their hand or read in an email. To Invite is the verb; the physical act of creating the invitation.

    “Hey” as a salutation in a business email. I’m sorry, but I simply do not find that professional. I don’t find it friendly. I find it sloppy and bordering on rude.

    Sigh. I also was just informed that we are no longer supposed to put 2 spaces after a period when typing.

    I am a dinosaur.

  6. Great article! Comma-itis is an ongoing problem. I appreciate the reminders!

  7. I took PA a few years ago and have been trying to remember (or find out) if there is a name for the error when a comma is unnecessary. Such as:

    "I went to the store, and found some grass-fed beef."

    This seems to be prolific now and drives me batty!

    🙂

  8. The misuse of apostrophes is rampant! Is this grammar rule not taught in school any more?

  9. Great comma information. You are right, punctuation errors stand out just as glaringly as misspelled words. What I don't understand is how some major news sites can have so many such errors in published articles.

  10. Thank you! Commas are driving me crazy. I'm just glad I'm not the only one. Ever since I have started your class, I see so many more mistakes than I did before taking the class. I have to admit, though, that commas are the most difficult part of the proofreading for me.

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