Writing Glitch 1084

Today’s glitch:

Either add periods after a and m or capitalize both letters. (The numeral 4 is correct only because of the unit of measure immediately after it; if you didn’t use a.m./AM, you’d need to write it as four in the morning or four o’clock.)

The example is one of those sentences in which the lack of a comma actually changes the meaning. As originally written, not only does the neighbor shine a light every morning, but you decide every morning at four to find out why. Kinda silly, eh? Add a comma after window, and the sentence says that the neighbor shines a light every morning, but your decision to find out why happens just now.

Every night at exactly 4AM, your neighbor from across the street flashes a flashlight through their front window, and you decide to find out why.

For even better clarity of meaning (so people who don’t know commas aren’t confused), make this two sentences by changing the comma to a period and deleting and.


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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