Confessions of a Comma Lover

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Every writer knows their own weaknesses, and my weakness is the comma. I just can’t help myself: I love the comma. I don’t go out of my way to show the comma love; it just happens naturally. An extra comma here, an extra comma there. Perhaps, I am more like Oprah giving commas out: a comma to you! a comma to you! and you!

Of course, when I put my editor hat on, I think about things like independent and dependent clauses, adjectives, lists, or other grammar rules. But when I am just writing for writing’s sake, I just let the comma do what one might expect it to do in its natural habitat. It might crawl around and nestle between two words it finds comfortable or hide where a breath might land. Sometimes in the wild, the comma might just come out and land where it does not belong at all. After review, a person might have to come around and try to sweep the unwanted commas away, but those pesky little guys hang on tight. Still, it is important to remember that in the end, we need them as much as they need us.

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