Quit Trashing Your Writing Voice with This Rookie Mistake

Quit Trashing Your Writing Voice with This Rookie Mistake

Reader Comments (14)

  1. I love grammar tools, even the hopelessly flawed Microsoft Word, because I know enough about punctuation to know when to agree and when to disagree. The computer simply asks me the question.

    And for those people who insist on putting a comma between the subject and the verb that immediately follows it, are you trying to talk like William Shatner?

  2. When I lived in DC, I was friends with a political speech writer. I listened to him prompt the politician: “When you see a comma – PAUSE. Breathe. Let a second to pass, it will give impact and clarify what you are saying by allowing the listeners to absorb the words.” As the politician stepped onto the stage, my friend once more said: Pause!! It was a very impressive speech. I believe in commas. They are powerful when used properly. As an editor, I cringe when I see them tossed about by the writer in a willy-nilly style… or ignored completely. I read a work, in it, one paragraph, 2/3 of a full page, single-spaced with only a capital letter at the start and a period at the end. No other punctuation! The author had no idea what a comma was. There were NONE in his work… well, that is until I finished editing. LOL.

  3. Bless the person(s) who invented Grammarly! I not only feel more confident using it, I’ve learned a LOT. As you suggested, rather than just blindly making corrections I look up things I don’t understand and it’s gratifying to see that I’m making fewer mistakes than when I started using it. Thanks for the important reminder.

    • It’s amazing how quickly you can progress when you use a tool like that as a prompt to check something, rather than just letting it try to write for you. 🙂 That’s how you get better!

      Thanks for your note!

  4. Ah, the comma. A comma tells you how to read. Commas also tell you when to stop, to breath, and to move forward. What a blessing. Thank goodness I err on the side of using comments, versus writing runaway sentences.

  5. Good article. Without proper use of commas and other punctuation, you sound like Archy the cockroach (and if that name doesn’t ring any bells, Google it).

  6. Amen, Sonia! The misuse and disuse of the comma is one of my biggest grammar pet peeves. I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who appreciates this seemingly lowly but incredibly important punctuation mark!

  7. I blog in English, which is not my first language. It’s harder but more fun for me. I use Grammarly to check my grammar. In my mother tongue, the comma usage is the same as in English so I also dislike the misuse and disuse of it.

  8. Oh my God….commas!! What about all the terrible, outrageous spelling I’m trying to make sense of!!! I don’t get it!

      • For a minute, I thought I was doing something wrong writing my posts.
        I have a good suggestion for your book club. “Humboldt’s Gift,” A 1976 Nobel-Prize-winning novel by Saul Bellow, who incidentally does away with commas.
        Although a novel narrative is one thing, and mandatory punctuation in blog writing, another.

  9. Writing like you talk is even more difficult, if English is not your first language. There are times I think in my native language when writing, and if I wrote things in English along my thought, it makes little sense without punctuation. The way we communicate on social media play a big role in sending punctuation marks, especially the comma, into extinction. It’s why some comments sound ridiculous. The comma is very important. I appreciated it a lot, as a theatre student.

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