Writing Glitch #138

Today’s glitch:


Unsurprisingly, the errors here are all about commas. 🙂

The first line of dialogue contains a comma splice, a place where sentences are run together with commas but need end punctuation instead. The second line contains what we used to call a mild interjection, which ought to be separated from the rest of the sentence with a comma. (In this particular sentence, leaving out the comma means the speaker is telling the other person he/she does well at being no fun. I’m quite certain that is not what was intended.)

“I don’t want tomatoes. I want to go home!”

“Well, you’re no fun.”

I suppose you could also have an exclamation mark after tomatoes, but beware overusing such marks. When they appear too often or too closely together (such as having every single sentence end with an exclamation mark because the speaker is shouting), they quickly lose their effectiveness.



About Thomas Weaver

I’m a writer and editor who got into professional editing almost by accident years ago when a friend from university needed someone to copyedit his screenplay about giant stompy robots (mecha). Having discovered that I greatly enjoy this kind of work, I’ve been putting my uncanny knack for grammar and punctuation, along with an eclectic mental collection of facts, to good use ever since as a Wielder of the Red Pen of Doom. I'm physically disabled, and for the past several years, I’ve lived with my smugly good-looking twin Paul, who writes military science fiction and refuses to talk about his military service because he can’t. Sometimes Paul and I collaborate on stories, and sometimes I just edit whatever he writes. It's worked out rather well so far. My list of non-writing-related jobs from the past includes librarian, art model, high school teacher, science lab gofer… Although I have no spouse or offspring to tell you about, I do have six cats. (The preferred term is "Insane Cat Gentleman.") I currently spend my time blogging, reading, editing, and fending off cats who like my desk better than my twin’s.
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3 Responses to Writing Glitch #138

  1. Least I caught the second one!! Missed the comma splice entirely.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. As it is, I read the second sentence as a person named Well being no fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Could be, but you’d still need a comma to separate the direct address from the rest of the sentence. (If “Well” was the character’s name, I’d recommend changing the sentence to “You’re no fun, Well,” to avoid confusion.)

      Liked by 1 person

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