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 ūüôā )?

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. ūüôā )





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 ūüėÄ

    Liked by 1 person

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