Someone Make Up Their Mind

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"No wonder feelings run high about the comma. When it comes to improving the clarity of a sentence, you can nearly always argue that one should go in; you can nearly always argue that one should come out." (Truss 80)

I remember in English classes how frustrated I used to get when one teacher would mark certain punctuation useage wrong while another believed the useage was okay. It was hard to try to determine, especially with the comma, what use was correct or incorrect because each teacher had a different opinion. Although after reading this sections on commas I feel I understand the correct useage a little more clearly, I still believe that I will have many more situations where the correct useage is going to be debatable.

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4 Comments

Greta Carroll said:

Katie, I agree with you. And I always found it frustrating too. Often for big papers, my teachers would offer to read over you paper ahead of time and give you suggestions. Often, they would tell me to take out a comma here, add another one here. Then I’d ask my brother (who was an English major) to look over my paper after I had adjusted my paper from my teachers’ comments, and sometimes he would tell me to take out a comma, they told me to add! I think part of it is the trend in recent times have been to use less commas (which was probably not the case when some of my teachers went to school), but it still always annoyed me. I felt like screaming: “makeup your mind!”

I agree with you Katie. I think that the use of the comma should be mostly left up to the writer because so many people have so many different opinions of its usage!
One of my biggest struggles was when I had to take journalism and I had to stop using the Oxford Comma because that was not the style that they wrote in.
I'm sure that like 5 years from now, the rules of when to use the comma will change, hahaha.

Katie Vann said:

I actually had one English teacher who would tell me to add certain punctuation marks to my paper only to mark the same ones wrong on the final draft. It was so frustrating because I tried to follow what he preferred only to have him change his mind when it really counted.

Katie Vann said:

I actually had one English teacher who would tell me to add certain punctuation marks to my paper only to mark the same ones wrong on the final draft. It was so frustrating because I tried to follow what he preferred only to have him change his mind when it really counted.

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