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The Case of the Missing Commas

Lately I’ve found commas mysteriously absent in today’s popular fiction. I understand every author has an artistic right to cut those little devils out. For instance, Cormac McCarthy not only cut out commas but most punctuation in his bestseller, The Road. His style brought a gritty raw feeling that accentuated his story.

But recently, I have been finding those brutes missing in otherwise punctuated stories. My latest read was from a New York Times bestselling author. I constantly found myself wondering if his editor missed the comma or if it was left out on purpose. The distraction annoyed the flow of a great story.

I know some commas like the Oxford Comma (the last comma in a series before the final and) are a matter of opinion. Is the missing comma similar to the rule of splitting an infinitive, fading into oblivion? Is the battle between the hard core grammarians who cannot let it go versus the creative minds who throw the rules out the window?

I still believe when you combine two independent clauses, a comma is needed unless the sentence is short. Am I getting too old school for my good? What’s your vote on the matter? Keep the comma or is it just an accessory to use when needed?

Leave a comment

1 Comment

  1. I, don’t know Jami… 😀
    I’m also ‘old school’, however the technicalities of grammar have always been a mystery to me I’m afraid.
    I just stumble along hoping I’m doing it correctly. 😀


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