Secrets of the comma

When it comes to punctuation, I’m a lumper rather than a splitter. Some nights I lie awake, pondering to secrets of commas, dashes, parentheses, and more, looking for grand patterns. The post
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When it comes to punctuation, I’m a lumper rather than a splitter. Some nights I lie awake, pondering to secrets of commas, dashes, parentheses, and more, looking for grand patterns. “Is something bothering you?” my wife asks. “Yes,” I reply. “Commas.” Style guides give a baker’s dozen of comma rules, which seem like a lot to remember. Some writers even distinguish commas by name: adverbial commas, appositive commas, clausal commas, phrasal commas, quotational commas, salutational commas, vocative commas, conjunctional commas, elliptical commas, list commas, and Oxford commas. Whew. Others adhere to the “put a comma anywhere you’d pause” idea. The pause approach really doesn’t work (especially if you are prone to dramatic speech). Commas may have once been used to indicate pauses, but today they are keyed to the grammar of sentences. In my most optimistic moments, I like to think that comma use can be organized according to just two broad themes. Commas combine. Commas coordinate. . .

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News source: Linguistics – OUPblog

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