On punctuation and breathing

My friend Sam Westreich, a fine writer, asked about a rule for punctuation, says, “Put in a comma when your brain runs out of breath.”  Now, if we had been given rules like that in fifth grade, we’d all be grammarians!

7 thoughts on “On punctuation and breathing

  1. What, you may, well, you may well ask, is wrong, in and of itself, with, as it were, loads of commas? Yes, it could get tedious. And sentences would be as awful as that which I just wrote and, indeed, I am writing now. Wouldn’t it be entertaining though? No, no really. But I do love commas when used well. ^_^

  2. Wow, I’m quoted on the Internet! Oh man, I feel famous. And while I definitely accept that commas can be overused, I find that they are nearly always underused, not overused. In the writing of others, I see far more run-on sentences without commas than sentences that suffer a plague of commas.

    • Sam, I love the phrase. Great rule of thumb, and a further reason ALWAYS to read your material out loud. Of course, Janice is right. For those with mental emphysema, the rule could be dangerous!

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