Writing Glitch 1080

Today’s first glitch:

Add a comma after picture.

Want to know why you need that comma? The Chicago Manual of Style says, “A question is sometimes included within another sentence either directly or indirectly […] A direct question (unless it comes at the beginning of a sentence) is usually introduced by a comma.” CMoS also says, “If the result seems awkward, rephrase as an indirect question. An indirect question does not require a question mark [emphasis mine], nor does it need to be set off with a comma.”

“Take a close look at this picture, and what do you see?”

You can also rephrase the example sentence: “Take a close look at this picture and tell me what you see.” Now the question is implied/indirect and doesn’t get a question mark.




About Thomas Weaver

For several years, I’ve been putting my uncanny knack for grammar and punctuation, along with an eclectic mental collection of facts, to good use as a Wielder of the Red Pen of Doom (editor). I'm physically disabled, and I currently live 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 eight cats. 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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