showing articles for: Punctuation

Mistake of the Month: Missing Commas

by • October 01, 2013

There are two types of writers in this world: those who use too many commas and those who use too few. While unnecessary commas can turn straightforward sentences into twisting labyrinths of syntactical confusion, missing a critical comma can change the entire meaning of your sentence. Consider the headline from the now-infamous Rachael Ray cover of Tails magazine: “Rachael Ray finds inspiration in cooking her family and her dog.” While the line breaks of the original cover make it apparent what the editors meant to say, the lack of commas between… MORE →

Mistake of the Month: Sentence Fragments

by • July 29, 2013

The flipside of June’s mistake of the month, run-on sentences, is sentence fragments – which are snippets of words that don’t quite add up to a complete thought. Without a subject and a predicate, a string of words and punctuation does not a sentence make. There are several common types of sentence fragments, including: • Subordinate clause fragments • Participle phrase fragments • Infinitive phrase fragments Let’s take a look at each of them. To understand sentence fragments, we must first know what a complete sentence looks like. In its most… MORE →

Logical Punctuation (Infographic)

by • June 28, 2013

Guest post by Jocelyn Blore While grammarians may bemoan the rise of social media and rampant texting for the devolution of the written word, there are battles being fought from within communities of writing Luddites as well. Would you listen to the Linguistic Society of America, or… MORE →

Mistake of the Month: Run-on sentences

by • June 25, 2013

According to Grammarly’s research, run-on sentences are among the top grammar mistakes made by writers worldwide. A run-on sentence contains two or more independent clauses (a group of words with a subject and a verb that can stand alone as a sentence) that are not connected with correct punctuation. Though there are different kinds of run-on sentence errors, most often writers neglect to use a comma before a coordinating conjunction (and, but, or, etc.). Correct usage: I enjoy writing immensely, and my deadline is looming. Incorrect usage: I enjoy writing immensely and my deadline is looming…. MORE →

The Oxford Comma Debate

by • March 12, 2013

Guest Post from Jocelyn Blore Proper use of punctuation used to be the territory of editors and lonely grammar enthusiasts. One punctuation mark, however, has been catapulted into the popular consciousness with articles by The Economist, NPR, Mental Floss, and others, not to mention a hit song by Vampire Weekend. I’m speaking of course about the Oxford comma. Quick test: In a hypothetical Oscar acceptance speech to the Academy, which would be correct? A: “I’d like to thank my parents, Bill Hudson and Goldie Hawn.” B: “I’d like to thank my… MORE →