What are we grateful for? Commas.

by • November 21, 2012

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, the Grammarly team polled more than 1,700 Facebook fans on what piece of punctuation they are most “thankful” for in their writing.

The semi-colon, em-dash, and period, were top contenders; yet, overwhelmingly we learned that English writers are most thankful for the comma.

Although writers enjoy the comma, many do not know how to use it. Misuse of commas is among the top grammar mistakes that writers around the world are making, according to a recent audit of English writers conducted by the Grammarly team. And there are many ways to misuse a comma:

    • Not including a comma before a coordinating conjunction (makes up 43 percent of all comma mistakes among Grammarly users)
    • Comma misuse in an introductory phrase (8 percent of comma mistakes)
    • Comma misuse inside a compound subject (7 percent of comma mistakes)
    • Comma misuse around interrupters (6 percent of comma mistakes)

There are 28 different types of comma mistakes that English writers can make. Yet, not including a comma before a coordinating conjunction—and, but, for, nor, or, so, yet—is six times more common than any other!

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