We’re all writers or readers here, so we all know where I’m going with this. You’ve no doubt run across passages while reading where a comma has been tragically omitted or inserted where it had no place being or not being.
Here’s a shining example of a piece of text that really could have used three commas and some accessories, like an “and” or an “or” between the pregnant and the children. Sure, it’s just a sign, not literature. But it gets the point across, and I really don’t want to go citing passage like this from a fellow author without giving him or her a heads up quietly first to allow revision. Because let’s face it, critics can be cruel in reviews at times. I really don’t want to go out of my way to provide ammunition in public. Or in private — let reviewers find their own ammunition. They definitely will, and the majority of them can spot a massive punctuation error very well without aid, thankyouverymuch.
Just for the heck of it, and because what I had to say today didn’t take much saying, I’m going to leave a couple more examples of various errors — actual and contrived — here for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!
I find the Oxford comma is the best choice in most situations.
Of course, there is fertile ground for error beyond the comma.
George Carlin verbally illustrates the consequences of screwing up a comma.
CAUTION: if “George Carlin” wasn’t warning enough, THIS VIDEO CONTAINS NOT SAFE FOR WORK LANGUAGE.
And finally, here’s a link to “25 Unfortunate Sentences That Could Really Use A Comma” at Hypervocal — and, thankfully, it is NOT a slideshow.
If there’s anything I dislike more than a sentence tragically destroyed by an error of grammar, it’s a slideshow on the internet.