Writing Glitch #164

That last one was too easy, wasn’t it? Have another:


This one is easy, too: get rid of the comma.

The sentence is not compound, nor does the beginning contain a nonrestrictive clause (you wouldn’t write Anyone, who has time to clean, is…), a parenthetical element (which, despite the name, don’t always use parentheses), a dependent clause, etc. There is no reason for that comma to be there. (Argh! *throws red pen across room*)

Mercenary Proofreader is still trying to figure out why many writers scatter commas across their sentences like so many dandelions on a lawn. Despite it being the only one in the sentence, would you call it a “Shatner comma” (although… to be fair, his… dramatic pauses would… not be written as… commas 🙂 )?

Anyone who has time to clean is not reading nearly enough.

(If you must do some sort of housework, by the way, I recommend laundry: you can read while waiting between loads. 🙂 )





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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One Response to Writing Glitch #164

  1. I did not know he had a comma named after him, lol! Hmm… now I can’t get Kevin Pollack’s impression of Shatner out of my head 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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