Writing Glitch #292

Today’s glitch:


Separate a direct address (meaning when the speaker addresses someone else, be it by name or otherwise — in the example, the direct address is my darling) from the rest of the sentence with a commas or commas. This means that if the direct address is somewhere in the middle instead of the beginning or end of the sentence, you need commas on both sides of it, not just after it.

I opted to use an em-dash after back with you, but you could make the last bit a sentence fragment instead and use a period rather than an em-dash.

I have died many times, my darling, and I’ve always ended up back with you — a different version of you, maybe, but you all the same.

If you’re opposed to separating maybe out with commas on both sides (I don’t know why you would be, but some writers have weird aversions to the most reasonable things), you can change the word order like so: I have died many times, my darling, and I’ve always ended up back with you — maybe a different version of you, but you all the same. Notice that there’s still a comma before but.



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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