Writing Glitch #348

Today’s glitch:


The example contains a comma splice, plus other errors. Sadly, this is not surprising.

Change the comma after life to a period. Add a comma after However (which is capitalized because it’s now the first word of a sentence). Add a comma after error (due to clerical error is a nonrestrictive phrase: you could delete it without changing the essential meaning of the sentence). Also add a period after the last word of the second sentence (for reasons that should be obvious).

Each person is assigned a guardian angel who helps them throughout their life. However, due to clerical error, a demon was assigned to you instead.

I changed everyone to each person because everyone is often used to mean an indeterminate number of people collectively. In this example, that would mean a group of people is assigned a single guardian angel, which seems unlikely, given what’s said in the second sentence.


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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2 Responses to Writing Glitch #348

  1. Anonymous says:

    Each person is assigned a guardian angel, who helps them throughout their life; however, due to clerical error, a demon was assigned to you instead. I sometimes wonder if I am now guilty of too many commas. As I played the glitch game, this was my solution. Comment?

    Liked by 1 person

    • You don’t need the comma after “angel” because “who helps them throughout their life” is a restrictive clause rather than a nonrestrictive one. (Argh! Now that I’m looking at this, I can see why maybe you would want that comma… It’s a matter of emphasis, I think. so either way is okay, depending on what you intend.)


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