#FixItFriday : Semicolon


The winking eye emoticon in social media has more humble origins in grammar as a semicolon— a punctuation mark used to separate two statements which, in fact, can standalone as two separate sentences.

; = winking eye emoticon means I am flirting with you.

I am not flirting; I am just teaching grammar. = two related statements which can be punctuated as two sentences.

I am not flirting. I am just teaching grammar.  =  two related sentences which can be punctuated as a one statement.

And this is just wrong and rude:  I am not flirting; maybe you should just learn grammar.  =  Ah, no; but a comma could fix this.

 

Photo by One Way Stock

#FixItFriday : Commas


Oh comma, to use or not to use, that is the question.

Do not use a comma to join two complete sentences. A simple sentence has a subject, a verb, and an object. 

e.g., It was a perfect day, I went to the spa.

The problem:  It (subject) was (verb) a perfect day (object), I (subject) went (verb) to the spa (object).

The fix:  It was a perfect day. I went to the spa.

The exception: when two related sentences are joined by a conjunction, i.e., and, but, so, then, etc.

e.g., It was a perfect day so I went to the spa.

That works for simple sentence structures. However, when you dare to compose more complex sentences, commas prevent run on sentences and improve the message in the sentence by separating the phrases.

Wrong:  This is the first Friday I did not have to work so I am going to the spa because I love good massages and I always feel relaxed afterwards.

Right: This is the first Friday I did not have to work, so I am going to the spa because I love good massages, and I always feel relaxed afterwards.