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Dorian E. Gray israfel at eircom.net
Fri Jan 23 14:30:01 EST 2004


  Lizzie asked...
  >
  > My question is--has the idea of a comma splice being a bad thing died out in
  > the UK?  I feel like British authors are a lot freer with commas than
American
  > authors,

  I don't know about the UK, but as an Irishwoman, I write Britglish, and I
consider the comma splice to be an abomination.  I cringe every time I go to the
supermarket and see the sign that reads "Trolleys must not be removed from the
car park, they are fitted with a wheel-locking device."  (I even just typed a
semi-colon in that and had to erase it!)

  Then again, part of my job entails copy-editing/proof-reading the documents
that my company sends out, and every time I mention the evilness of the comma
splice to whoever wrote the document, I get "what's a comma splice?".  (Mostly
Irish guys, but one Australian and one American-raised.)  Though to be fair,
once I explain the term, they usually admit that it is a bad thing and they
wrote whatever it was wrong.

  Mind you, the comma-splicers are less hassle than the guy who lived in Berlin
for 10 years, and keeps applying German grammatical structure to the English
language, which produces some very odd results!  (German does strange things
with the infinitive which English cannot cope with.)

  Until the sky falls on our heads...

  Dorian (who also sends rude text messages about punctuation to her local
breakfast TV).
  --
  Dorian E. Gray
  israfel at eircom.net

  "[My rule] for keeping my temper in order, is never to leave it too long with
another person."
  - Horace Walpole

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