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The Grammar Thread

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Phil Pascoe

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The Oxford (or serial) comma is the final comma in a list of things. There are occasions where a clause or sentence that doesn't involve a list reads better with a comma.
 

Yorkieguy

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Re: Well, another day passed, and I didn’t use algebra.

I wrote the sentence without commas and the grammar checker stated this about the comma after ‘well’:

'After an introductory word or phrase, a comma is best’

And this about the lack of a comma after ‘passed’ and the grammar checker stated:

‘A commas is better clauses is better here’.

Ho hum...good enough for me.
 

Suffolkboy

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Generally my punctuation/grammar is pretty poor. I just thought that sentence was dreadfully written and that that was ironic given that the joke was regarding a subject learnt in school.

I'm sure if you look back through a few of my previous posts you'll see what a hypocrite I am.
 

Cozzer

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Talking of grammar, have you noticed how many people are using 'of' instead of 'have' these days? It really irritates me!
Same as starting every sentence with 'so'....
Same as inserting 'like' before every third word....
Same as not pronouncing 't's in words....

Same as...... but no. No more. I'm even winding myself up now!
 

J-G

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Re: Well, another day passed, and I didn’t use algebra.

I wrote the sentence without commas and the grammar checker stated this about the comma after ‘well’:

'After an introductory word or phrase, a comma is best’

And this about the lack of a comma after ‘passed’ and the grammar checker stated:

‘A commas is better clauses is better here’.

Ho hum...good enough for me.
What you obviously don't appreciate is that your grammar checker comes from a person/company whose first language is NOT English - they are regrettably from the other side of the pond!!

Rather than simply accept what a poorly educated 'follower of fashion' has to suggest I would recommend that you simply use your own intellect to determine the correct use of punctuation.

The 'sentence' you quote as coming from the checker - "‘A commas is better clauses is better here’." makes no sense (in English) on a number of counts - singular/plural mix being just one.

The comma after 'Well' (in your original) is certainly to be preferred, it indicates that there is something coming which needs the attention of the 'listener' and prompts them to be more attentive. The comma after 'passed' immediately stops the flow of information which makes the statement dis-jointed when in fact what a 'conjunction' (and) is supposed to do is 'join' clauses.

I am often involved in the creation of Theatre/Concert programmes and am very often arguing the case for and against the use of a comma before a conjunction. There are occasions when it is acceptable but they are few and far between. One of the people who is also involved in the editing of the same programme text is even 'published' on the matter of the Oxford comma (which he insists should ALWAYS be used) but I still argue my case.
 
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