I've written about this before, but I have seen so many grammar sins lately in the media that I have to rant one more time, this time on comma use. Wait! Don't leave me yet, this will be fun!
Commas, the difference between "Let's eat, Grandma" and "Let's eat Grandma."
"The Panda eats, shoots, and leaves" vs. "The Panda eats shoots and leaves."
"It's raining, men" vs. "It's raining men."
"I love, Lucy" vs. "I love Lucy."
Then, of course, there's this magazine cover that made the rounds earlier this year. Mmmm, a nice family dinner!
I will not bore you with the specific English Teacher sentence structure lessons, but suffice it to say that commas define separate elements of a sentence. Used correctly, they clarify your meaning, as can be seen in the examples above. Used incorrectly, they not only cause confusion, but can give your readers a comical or horrific impression of you!
Here's a fun web page that lists other common grammatical mistakes, along with one of my earlier posts. There are countless internet resources and books available if you want to study up on what is correct. Just be sure to use an America resource, as British conventions are a bit different.
So, off you go now to write correctly. And let's not eat Grandma!
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