The Almighty Comma

“,” What is up with this little piece of punctuation?  It’s not real big! It’s actually quite small. But it gives people problems all over the place.  It is one of the most over/under used pieces of punctuations in the books.  Either a person over uses or under uses, but not both, and no one knows why. (I heard that on the radio) I just got through reading a nice little blog at Daily Writing Tips.  It was about using the comma in the right way to save your writing.

Can you figure out what’s wrong with these sentences?  And “YES!”, there is something wrong with every one. Take a good hard look at each one, and you will be able to come up with what is wrong. Here is your chance:

  1. If you think that you can get the drop on me you are highly mistaken.
  2. Sara and Bella are going to the store, then go get their nails done.
  3. It is a constant battle in keeping the ocean from taking the sand, and wherever possible, building up the dunes as we can.
  4. I think movies, like Gone with the Wind, are a great example of cinematography and sparks discussions about our history.
  5. I have to get this information to Betty at her home, by noon, or she will look stupid at the meeting this afternoon.

The Answers:

  1. If you think that you can get the drop on me, you are highly mistaken.
    1. As you read the sentence you know that something is wrong.  Read it again, slowly this time, and you will find that there are two parts to this sentence.
    2. Once part is a partial sentence and a the main concept.
    3. Does the partial adds meaning to the sentence? If yes, then you need to set it off with a comma.  If no, then you add an end punctuation and let it stand on it’s own.
  2. Sara and Bella are going to the store then go get their nails done.
    1. As you read this sentence, you see that you have two verbs and two subjects only on one side of the connector (then).
    2. Since the subject of the second part of the sentence is in the first part there is no comma needed.
  3. It is a constant battle in keeping the ocean from taking the sand and, wherever possible, building up the dunes as we can.
    1. It looks like they are trying to intend a parenthetical phase, and it didn’t come across right.
    2. The comma is also  saying that there are two complete sentences here which is not true.
    3. The sentence says the parenthetical phase is “and wherever possible”, but it really is “wherever possible”.
    4. The test for a parenthetical phrase is that you temporarily take one word out at a time and see if the sentence still makes sense until you have tested every which way and then you will know which way to go.
    5. Since “and” is not part of the Parenthetical phrase, the comma comes after and another one comes behind the phrase to set it apart from the sentence.
  4. I think movies like Gone with the Wind are a great example of cinematography and sparks discussions  about our history.
    1. The commas setting “like Gone with the Wind” tell us that the sentence can do without it.  Can it?  NO!
    2. It is referring to a type/category of films and is therefore essential to the sentence
    3. It needs no commas because it needs to be an active part of the sentence.
  5. I have to get this information to Betty at her home by noon, or she will look stupid at the meeting this afternoon. 
    1. The using of commas in the listing of the first three items is not necessary and makes things messy.
    2. The use of the verbs “to”, “at”, and “by” move the sentence along.
    3. Because there are two complete sentences with an or, you place a comma before the or and that is all.

The Barefoot Writer’s Club – Good, Bad, or Ugly?

I got an email for The Barefoot Writer’s Club. I went to their website and as the  woman started to speak, I started to get really interested.  She  told of making money writing letters like the ones you received in junk mail which is called copywriting.  She also talked about information emails, and research of other writers as well as other possible jobs that may well be possible to earn money for writers.   After  watching a very long winded video that was nothing more than watching words on a sceen as the voice of a very boring woman’s voice  talked to you.  It almost put me to sleep, and by the way she told you  some of the same facts over and over again.

She made it sound all soooooo good.  They offer a report of” 9 secrets to making a six figure salary”, but you  can find a book on Amazon that  is call “103 Ways to Easy Money as a Professional Writer” for under $5.  Then you FINALLY get to hit the button that has been begging to be hit since the beginning of the video,  they ask you to pay a membership fee of $49.  Once you open the website, you walk into the land of a little information that is useful, but a lot of stuff and coursework offered for sale.  I’m not a rich person.  In fact, I’m on a tight budget and the $49 was a lot for me so there is no way that I can keep giving anymore.  If you want to take any of their courses or get ahead in their business you have to  pay even more money.  The first  $49 will just get you the magazine. with some good  information but most likely nothing but more ads for stuff and courses that may or may not help you. I don’t know.   I didn’t get to look at the employment board that they said they  had that had all the opportunities on it. I just got out of there because I knew I was in the wrong place for me.

After being disappointed with this website.  I asked for my money back and they did refund it.  I was surp rised, but happy to get my money back.  After my experience I wondered if I was the only one so I searched the web to see if I was alone in my experiences, and I wasn’t. As it turned out, “The Barefoot Writer’s Club,” was already labeled a disappointment by other people.  I can’t say it’s scam just because I can’t afford what they provide.  I can’t tell you if what they offer is any good or bad either.  All I can tell you about it is that if you want to throw a lot of money around for your writing career, then you can try out the Barefoot Writer’s Club. Otherwise, save your money and don’t even try the Barefoot Writer’s Club.  Their free report is not really that good, and the email that you have to put up for it is just not worth the hassle.

I hope this helps just one person.

3 Day Quote Challenge: Day 3

Well this is it.  This is the last day of this challenge and Thank the Lord I made it.  I have to thank my readers for hanging in there with me during this challenging time because that’s exactly what it has been for me.

My Quote for today comes to me from my studies in creative writing:

Larry Menkin, Writer and Teacher, “Always said the most important advice on writing he could offer his students was this:  ‘Apply seat of pants.'”

In the textbook “Writing Great Short Stories” By Margaret Luke, She talks a lot about the only way that if a writer can get ideas is if he/she writes, writes some more, and then keeps on writing even more.  You also have to learn how to listen to other people “nicely” so you are not rude to them. This way you can get ideas and learn about dialog so you can make your characters seem more real.

Thank you Stuart Tutt of  Something to Stu Over so very much for this nomination again.  I have really enjoyed the act of searching and trying to find the right quotes to use for this challenge.  I do look forward to the future and more challenges that stretch my mind.

The Rules of this challenge are extremely simple.  They are as follows:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.

  2. Post a different quote for 3 days (weeks, or as soon as you can)  and explain why each one appeals to you.

  3. Nominate at least two bloggers each day.

I nominate the following blogger for this award:

  1. Lonelywarrior2018, FadedFaith

  2. Fr. Kevin, Inwardly Digest

For those I nominated, Please understand that you do not have to participate if you chose not to.  It is just something fun and challenging to do.  Thank you.