Today’s Wise Writing Wrinkle is to calm the commas. A comma is the punctuation mark that literally makes us pause when we write. The comma is basically the most versatile punctuation we can use because it has a ton of functions. For example, a comma can do anything from separating items in lists to offsetting nonessential information within a sentence to showing that there are two independent clauses in a sentence when used with certain conjunctions like and or but.
To be fair, It is because of the comma’s versatility that comma use in writing tends to be a hit-or-miss situation. In my experience, commas have consistently tripped up writers in one of three ways:
They use too many commas.
They don’t use enough or any commas.
They use commas in the wrong places.
Therefore, a great way to review your comma use is to pay attention to your comma use decisions. Consider some of the following questions:
— Are you pausing way too much in your sentence because there are too many commas? — If you removed the information offset by a comma, would your sentence be a dependent or an independent clause? — Are there enough commas to help the reader identify how many different items are listed within your sentence?
The list of comma questions goes on and on, but these would be great places to start analyzing your comma use and making sure your commas are, well, calm 😁😅