Writing Glitch #140

Today’s glitch:


Is there an abrupt change in direction in this sentence? No, there is not, so the dash should be replaced with a comma.

Could parts of this sentence be written as two shorter sentences? Yes, they could. They wouldn’t flow the same way, but the new sentences would nevertheless be grammatically correct. Thus, this sentence (say it with me) needs a comma before the conjunction.

You should also use a comma after the conjunction here, because I swear to god is a parenthetical phrase (I know it’s a bit confusing that not all parenthetical phrases are enclosed in parentheses, but that’s the way it is) that needs to be set apart from the rest of the sentence regardless of whether the sentence is compound.

“Put down the burger, or, I swear to god, I’ll shoot you in the knee!”

(WordPress’ auto-correct is especially psycho today, de-capitalizing proper nouns, underlining entire paragraphs as incorrect, and generally making a nuisance of itself. *sigh*)




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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5 Responses to Writing Glitch #140

  1. Next post, when to use that DASH thing in the example! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Quintessential Editor says:

    On a side note, no witty banter about the subject of this excerpt? You glitch was helpful as always, but the excerpt cracked me up.

    Liked by 1 person

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