by • December 27, 2012

This is a very popular post, and we have preserved the original punctuation.

Personally, however, I think the punctuation of the male perspective is misleading. One could argue that, from the male perspective, “without her man” is a defining modification clarifying exactly which woman—“a woman without her man.” If that is the case, it would be perfectly fine to write:

“A woman without her man is nothing.”

For a defining relative clause, commas are not needed to separate it from the main clause. With the commas, the relative clause reads as non-defining, implying that a woman is nothing and just happens to also be without a man.

How would you punctuate it?

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