“Comma” / Memorable Fancies #1780

[Every time I say “ , ” it refers to you.” – Louise Glück] In the pause I wait for you, for you to say something other than silence in this dreadly-comma’d pause. … [Read more...]

How to Punctuate Dialog in Fiction

How to Punctuate Dialog in Fiction by Terence Kuch You may also be interested in my recent post Point of View: Elements and Choices, a presentation in PowerPoint with detailed commentary in Word. The easiest way to find this is to Google "Point of View" "Elements and Choices" [do not include the colon] - the post should appear as the #1 hit. Or see www.terencekuch.net, my writer's profile, or go to www.amazon.com/author/terencekuch ===============================  [“…punctuation … [Read more...]

Comma Abuse

From the brochure “Playing It Safe on the W&OD Trail”: “Always look ahead for obstacles such as gates, potholes and other trail users, etc.” You didn’t know that potholes were considered trail users? Reluctance to place a comma before the “and” in a list of three or more items often results in ludicrous statements such as this. More seriously, such (mis-)usage often results in ambiguity, confusion, and loss of meaning. Consider how professional speakers (such as TV and radio news … [Read more...]

The Comma Serves Three Masters

The comma serves three masters: grammar, rhetoric, and logic. Sometimes [,] these masters may be at odds. (1) Consider this sentence from a short story: “After dinner I carried out the garbage.” Grammar requires a comma after ‘dinner’, and normally the writer should provide one. But consider rhetoric: we may want the comma there, or not, depending on how the writer is shaping the story’s rhythm and narrative voice. The choice is a judgment as to which master must prevail this time. (2) … [Read more...]