Non-Errors in the English Language (Part 2)


If your high school English teach was anything like my teacher, she/he probably always emphasized the “rule” about NOT using conjunctions to begin your sentence.  “You must never begin a sentence with a conjunction” is the mantra of many an English teacher.  Just because “everyone” says it is a rule does not necessarily mean it is true, though.  In fact, many a grammar “expert” will tell you that this arbitrary rule does not hold much sway. I can go on and on and repeat that I believe that using conjunctions such as “but” and “and” to begin a sentence is [Read more…]

A Quick Look at the Serial Comma


The comma has always been a bone of contention for many people.  We all use it everyday that we may very well be taking it for granted.  Over the holidays, I found myself in the middle of a very interesting discussion about the use of the serial comma. The serial comma is also called the Oxford comma or the Harvard comma. Sometimes, it is even referred to as the series comma. Whatever name you call it, the serial comma is used in lists – right before the coordinating conjunction. Let’s take a look at an example for the sake of [Read more…]

What Is a Comma Splice?

There are certain words in the English language that I love to hear and say. “Splice” is one of those words. I don’t know why, but it just sounds so good to my ears. This post, however, is not going to be about words that you like to hear. It is going to be about this thing called comma splice. What is it anyway, and why are some people so gung ho on avoiding it? Consider this: I woke up at 3 in the afternoon, I was not able to go to church. The two clauses – one before the [Read more…]

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