I’m keeping this short as I can to avoid it turning into a “grammar rant” (technically a punctuation rant), especially since what I want here is to get some feedback/advice from people who may be more familiar with the way the trendy kids are writing these days, because, after all, if the trendy kids say punctuation is passé, who are the rest of us to argue and keep doing it as we were taught?
*sigh* Okay, so I got a little bit rant-y anyway. I’ll try to do better, but I make no promises…
I see a lot of fiction these days in which no commas are used in compound sentences (or in other places, but let’s stick with one issue at a time). Has it become incorrect to use them? If so, can anyone point me to a reliable source for the new rules of comma usage? Everything I see online about it says I’m doing it correctly, but so much of what I read in recently published books indicates commas are just, y’know, out of fashion and therefore incorrect, bad writing, the mark of an old fuddy-duddy who probably even uses semicolons. (Yes, I do, but I didn’t learn how while at university, no matter what Vonnegut said. Semicolons are easy, kids; they only have two possible uses, unlike commas, which have fifteen. Maybe that’s why no one wants to use commas anymore, either.)
Don’t look at me like that. Most readers of my blog enjoy my grammar rants. Nothing like a middle-aged guy totally losing his cool over bad writing to make the rest of the day seem so rational in comparison…
Anyway. Commas in compound sentences — yay or nay? I don’t want any “It’s your writing, do whatever you feel like” kind of answer, though. Obviously there’s no law saying Thou Shalt Write THIS Way Or Else! *rolls eyes* I want to know what is generally considered correct now. I suspect it’s still what I learned (through reading — school was useless), but if not, I’d like to know why (and “Says who??”), and what the new standard for comma usage is.
It only now occurred to me that I may need to give an example of what a compound sentence is.
I looked at my cat, and she meowed at me.
That’s a compound sentence; it could be turned into two shorter sentences just by removing the conjunction (and) and replacing the comma with a period.