Commas break up clauses (whatever those are). Commas separate ideas by introducing a momentary pause, either mental or aloud, but don’t signal the start of a completely new idea the way a period or line break does.


In poetry, commas…I don’t know enough about commas in poetry to say anything there. I always thought they were like line breaks for the middle of lines.


My writing grows increasingly succinct. I used to be a long-winded person prone to lots of parallel construction, clauses and clauses strung together by commas and hyperbole.


I have no idea what happened. Is this the loss of a style because all the writing I had to do most recently required succinctness? Did I just get older and actually develop my own style, instead of cribbing from my favorite authors?


And what the hell are commas for, anyway?


4 thoughts on “Commas

  1. In their essence, commas are strictly tools (like other punctuation) to improve readability. But they also serve to torment writers trying to artificially control the rhythm of their sentences.

    • Torment?! I thought we were supposed to take advantage of these tools.

      Ha, it’s true. The worst is when you’re thinking about grammar as much as you are about readability. Which should come first?

      • They go hand in hand. I mean, what is grammar if not readability?

        They torment me personally. My ring finger on my right hand is rebellious. Every time my mind pauses in a sentence it reaches up and taps out a comma. Then I have to go back and fix it.

      • Haha, I kind of wish I had that problem. I’ve started typing out entire words that have absolutely nothing to do with what I’m trying to say.

        Sounds annoying, though!

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