PDA

View Full Version : Semi-colon or comma



JennaGlatzer
07-03-2006, 01:05 AM
Saved from cache files and reposted. Originally posted June 19.

Branwyn wrote:

semi colon or comma

The only glitch is; Candice doesn’t come to this conclusion until it’s too late.
Or
The only glitch is, Candice doesn’t come to this conclusion until it’s too late.
__________________


Waiting for circumstances to change so you can feel good is like looking in a mirror waiting for your reflection to smile first. ~Bashar





http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/statusicon/user_offline.gif jchines (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/member.php?u=1514) wrote:

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/reputation/reputation_pos.gif


#2. Use the comma.
__________________
In the history of grand adventures and heroic quests, goblinkind has never been more than a footnote. That's about to change....

Goblin Quest (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0756404002/) -- Coming in November from DAW Books (http://www.dawbooks.com/).
Goblin Hero -- Coming in 2007.


http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/statusicon/user_offline.gif Branwyn (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/member.php?u=5693) wrote:

Thanks:e2writer:


Ella (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/member.php?u=864) wrote:


Can you do it without the comma?
__________________
There are only so many hours in a day... I spend none of them on housework.


http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/statusicon/post_old.gif Medievalist (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/member.php?u=29) wrote:
http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/reputation/reputation_pos.gif

Only use a semi-colon when the bits on each side are independent clauses. Use a commat to link clauses could be sentences, but whose content is such that yo want to emphasize their "connectedness."

Never use a comma in that situation; you would be attempting to "splice" two sentences with a wimply little comma, and it just won't work.
__________________
Lisa L. Spangenberg | Digital Medievalist
Please Help Jenna | Donate to Absolute Write (http://www.digitalmedievalist.com/aw/donate.html)
My opinions are my own.| Who else would want them?

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/statusicon/user_offline.gif Branwyn (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/member.php?u=5693) wrote:

You can also use commas when you want the reader to pause,correct?

Thanks


http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/statusicon/post_old.gif Medievalist (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/member.php?u=29) wrote:


Err, no, not really. I know people are taught that, but commas and the way they work are tied to the syntax, the order of the words, in a sentence.
This (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/grammar/g_comma.html) is a fairly good tutorial. The "pause" is actually a side effect of the syntax, not the comma.



http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/statusicon/post_old.gif Jamesaritchie (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/member.php?u=184) wrote:



Originally Posted by Branwyn
You can also use commas when you want the reader to pause,correct?



Thanks


Using commas this way will not only make agents and editors pause, it'll make them stop reading completely.





http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/statusicon/post_old.gif Branwyn (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/member.php?u=5693) wrote:


I see. Thanks so much. I'm going to read that now.
I have commaphobia.;)







http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/statusicon/post_old.gif Medievalist (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/member.php?u=29) wrote:

Ah, you'll get over it. I used to use them so much it looked like I'd spilled pepper.



http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/statusicon/post_old.gif Branwyn (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/member.php?u=5693) wrote:

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/icons/icon11.gif
It's a lot of info. I'm still confused a bit. If you are writing a sentence such as--They draped streamers of red, white, and blue throughout the tree.
That's correct, right? It's not red, white and blue.


http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/statusicon/post_old.gif reph (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/member.php?u=12) wrote:

In a book, it's red, white, and blue. In a newspaper, it's red, white and blue. You can find thorough discussions if you search by "serial comma" or "Oxford comma."


http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/statusicon/post_old.gif Branwyn (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/member.php?u=5693) wrote:

Thanks. I'll do that tomorrow. Now my brain is fried.


Kristen King (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/member.php?u=8061) wrote:

As a rule, AP style, which you'll find in newspapers, obviously, basically trims out any and all nonessential characters because space in newspapers is so limited. It's less of a deal now with all of the composition technology we have these days, but that's why they cut out stuff like the beloved serial comma, whereas Chicago Style uses it.
__________________



___________________________________
KRISTEN KING FREELANCING
Talk is cheap. Good writing is priceless.
PO Box 7991 | Fredericksburg, VA 22404 | 540-220-2184
www.kristenkingfreelancing.com (http://www.kristenkingfreelancing.com/) | www.editingforeveryone.com (http://www.editingforeveryone.com/)
www.inkthinker.blogspot.com (http://www.inkthinker.blogspot.com)






http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/statusicon/post_old.gif Medievalist (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/member.php?u=29) wrote:


The serial/Harvard/Oxford comma is a religious / personal issue for editors.

Don't sweat it; just pick one and use it. If your editor likes the other, then change it, but until then just use one or the other.

But all right-thinking people favor the Oxford comma ;) And this book dedication's why:



This book is dedicated to my parents, Ayn Rand and God.

This suggests that the author's parents were Ayn Rand and God, because the "and" joins them.



This book is dedicated to my parents, Ayn Rand, and God.

The comma after Rand makes it clear that these are three separate entities.


http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/statusicon/post_old.gif rekirts (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/member.php?u=3918) wrote:

In Medievalist's example it changes the meaning if you leave out the comma, but often it doesn't make much difference. For example:

I bought apples, oranges, and bananas.
OR
I bought apples, oranges and bananas.

Personally, I prefer to use the comma in the fruit list to differentiate it from how the above example should be written if the writer's parents were Ayn Rand and God.
__________________
I Took The 2006 Rejection Pledge (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=444354#post444354) 1/10




http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/statusicon/post_old.gif CaroGirl (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/member.php?u=6435) wrote:

Wow, what a coincidence. My parents are Ayn Rand and God. Go figure.

I'm a technical writer and our standard style is to always use the serial comma because, while there might occasionally be ambiguity, there should always be consistency.
__________________
Caro
~The two most engaging powers of an author are to make new things familiar, and familiar things new.
I took The 2006 Rejection Pledge (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=444354#post444354): 4/20
Accepted: 1 (2nd place win in a short story contest)




http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/statusicon/post_old.gif Jamesaritchie (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/member.php?u=184) wrote:


Originally Posted by Branwyn
It's a lot of info. I'm still confused a bit. If you are writing a sentence such as--They draped streamers of red, white, and blue throughout the tree.
That's correct, right? It's not red, white and blue.


Correct for fiction. Newspapers cut every possible thing that can be cut, but stick to the serial comma in fiction.




http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/statusicon/post_old.gif Medievalist (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/member.php?u=29) wrote:http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/reputation/reputation_pos.gifhttp://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/reputation/reputation_pos.gifhttp://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/reputation/reputation_pos.gifhttp://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/reputation/reputation_pos.gifhttp://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/reputation/reputation_pos.gifhttp://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/reputation/reputation_highpos.gif


Really, unless you have a stylesheet specified, like APA or a house style, just be consistent. Your editor will let you know if you've committed comma heresy.

Branwyn
07-03-2006, 06:03 PM
Thanks.