Writing Glitch #362

Today’s glitch:


Oh, joy — another comma splice.

Change the comma after minds to a period and begin a new sentence (yes, with a capitalized first word and everything) afterward.

Use an apostrophe with a possessive: partner’s, not partners.

Overnight, everyone on Earth gains the ability to read minds. You are horrified to discover the trauma running through your partner’s thoughts.

(I’ve assumed the POV character here has only one partner, but if that’s not the case, just place the apostrophe after the s instead of before it. Also, I’d like to point out that one need not have the ability to read thoughts in order to read emotions. Telepathy and empathy, although related, are not the same thing. Not that I’d know, of course… :-P)

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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4 Responses to Writing Glitch #362

  1. Comma splices everywhere! I am far more cognizant of these now and see them more than I thought I would.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. M.L.S.Weech says:

    Comma splices are the most common error my students have. I’d kill to learn more ways to teach how to prevent them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What have you tried so far? The first thing that comes to mind is teaching them how to recognize when something is a complete sentence and when it isn’t. That could help both with avoiding comma splices and with remembering to use a comma with the conjunction in a compound sentence. (Comma-less compound sentences are one of my pet peeves.)


      • M.L.S.Weech says:

        The real problem isn’t that they can’t; it’s that they seem to feel as though the way a person speaks affects the way the sentence is punctuated. I see the most comma splices in quotes. I guess the bigger problem is the fact that they need to slow down more and just look at the work for what it is. I teach them to point at every comma. Read the left side. Read the right side. If both of those is a complete thought, it’s comma splice.

        Liked by 1 person

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