Comma Usage Made Simple

Written by Michael LaRocca


COMMA USAGE MADE SIMPLE Copyright 2005, Michael LaRocca

Don't they drive you nuts?

You can visit allrepparttar rules of style you want, and you can read allrepparttar 147995 books and articles you want. You'll still be confused. You'll see inconsistency. You'll see experts who don't agree with each other. And, you'll pull out your hair. Unless you're me, since my hair's falling out all by itself. I think it'd do that even if I weren't an editor hunting down errant commas.

Well, folks, here are some rules. A bare minimum. Internalize these and ignore everybody else.

(1) Never put a comma between a subject and a verb. It's always wrong. The dog, barked. What is that? Idiocy. Read it aloud, and pause atrepparttar 147996 comma. Don't you feel stupid?

(2) If you want to separate a clause, put a comma on both sides of it. Otherwise, no commas at all. "The dog, who held a bone in his mouth, ran torepparttar 147997 porch." See how there's a comma on both sides? That's because you could skip that whole clause entirely and it'd still be a complete sentence. "The dog ran torepparttar 147998 porch."

If I deleterepparttar 147999 first comma, I have to deleterepparttar 148000 second one. You decide which looks best, two commas or none. But, one comma doesn't work. Try deleting either one and readingrepparttar 148001 result aloud, remembering to pause atrepparttar 148002 comma. It's a wreck, isn't it? You don't talk like that, so don't write like that.

(3) "He sawrepparttar 148003 cat,repparttar 148004 cat was onrepparttar 148005 couch." This is not a good sentence. It's two sentences. The one beforerepparttar 148006 comma has subject/verb/object, and so doesrepparttar 148007 one afterrepparttar 148008 comma.

Run-ons like that can emphasizerepparttar 148009 run-on nature of a character's words or thoughts, but userepparttar 148010 device sparingly. It's okay to break a rule, as long as you know what it is and why you're breaking it.

But inrepparttar 148011 example above, it'd be best to make them two sentences. If you find you just can't do it, consider a semicolon. Don't believe anyone who says semicolons aren't allowed in fiction. I wouldn't use one inrepparttar 148012 sample sentence, but I've used them in other sentences I've written. Sparingly.

But for something as lame as a sentence about a cat on a couch, it's best to followrepparttar 148013 rules exactly and make that two sentences. Do you really think your reader's gonna pop off for a beer or a toilet break between them and lose his place? As long as they're inrepparttar 148014 same paragraph, they'll be read together.

"How You Can Find Freelance Editing Jobs"

Written by Niall Cinneide


Freelance editing opportunities are out there, you just need to know where and how to look for them. As a matter of fact, there are hundreds of companies that are waiting for you, right now, to fill their job vacancies. Each and every one of them has an exciting opportunity for someone. What are your areas of expertise? What can you do to benefit these companies? Finding freelance editing opportunities is simple when you know what you are looking for, who you are looking for, and where to find them.

Letís begin with knowing what you are looking for. There are hundreds of jobs available inrepparttar realm of freelance. Editing opportunities can be found in many different avenues. You can work strictly with editing copy for websites, or work with developing and proofreading articles forrepparttar 147855 internet, newspapers, and even books. Knowing which way your career is going is essential. Knowing what you want to do will point you inrepparttar 147856 right direction of who to look for. Employment can come from many sources then. By knowing what you want to do, you can guide your search aroundrepparttar 147857 criteria for these companies. For example, you may be able to look strictly towards companies who deal with marketing or inrepparttar 147858 newspaper business.

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