Sunday, April 01, 2012

A to Z Blogging Challenge and Comma Splices

by Donna K. Weaver

Today begins the A to Z blogging challenge. I participated last year and had so much fun, and I met a lot of new bloggers who I still visit today. The way it works, if you have to write a post every day but Sundays (because of 5 Sundays in April this year, today is the exception). You post about a different letter of the alphabet. Today is "A", and tomorrow is "B" and so on. The posts don't need to be long, and they really shouldn't be. A bazillion people participate in this blog; it's literally grown by leaps and bounds each year.

Why do it? It's a great way to meet new people and get new followers for your blog.


Now, here today, I'm going to discuss a little grammar.

If you are right-handed, the scissors should be in your right hand, if you are left-handed, scissors go in the left hand.

The above comma is called a comma splice and is considered grammatically incorrect. What you have here is two complete sentences. The writer either needs to separate them with a period or question mark. or connect them with conjunctions like and, but, or, nor, yet, and so.

Another option is to separate them with a semicolon. You can use a semicolon to signal the reader that the two sentences are closely related to each other.

Bear in mind, however, that a semicolon is considered a soft period and not a hard comma.

Are semicolons your friends? Or do you run from them for fear of using them incorrectly? Or do they just bug you when you read them?


3 comments:

Mary E Campbell said...

weird picture of the dog and girl. Thanks for the lesson. I'm terrible with commas. I throw them in when they're not needed and leave them out when they should be there. I'm terrified of misusing a semicolon, so I never use them.

James Duckett said...

I love a properly used semicolon. I blogged on that once upon a time: http://www.jamesduckett.com/2011/06/how-to-properly-use-semicolon.html

That said, I don't think they have a place in fiction writing. I avoid it in fiction writing at all cost.

James Duckett said...

Oh, and I think you've talked me into the A to Z Blogging Challenge!