Comma Splice, Commas, Grammar, Poor Editing, Punctuation

Sugar and Splice

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IHOP, IHOP, IHOP. I expected more from you since you’re a huge chain and all; I really did.

This is a problem — a big problem. Here we have . . . (drumroll) . . . a comma splice (gasp!).

It makes me sad when people try to give the job of a period (or a full stop for all my friends in the UK) or semi-colon to a comma. Commas can’t handle the pressure. They’re like nervous little poodles, shaking and wincing as the two independent clauses gang up on them.

Screen Shot 2013-01-15 at 6.44.48 PM

(*To enlarge the above example for optimum reading, simply click on the image.)

That poor comma doesn’t stand a chance. It simply isn’t strong enough to hold up two independent clauses all by itself. If it wants a fighting chance, it will have to bring in the reinforcements, perhaps a coordinating conjunction:

Screen Shot 2013-01-15 at 6.55.23 PM

That’s better. Another fix would be to let the period, or full stop, stand in. You see, it ate its Wheaties as a child and has more than enough strength to hold its own against independent clauses:

Screen Shot 2013-01-15 at 6.57.52 PM

IHOP, you need to change your advertisement if you want people who gasp in terror at the sight of a comma splice to order your new coffee. Here are a few options you could use:

  • It doesn’t just make you warm; it makes you happy.
  • It doesn’t just make you warm. It makes you happy.

Please, IHOP, don’t perpetuate comma splices. Do what you have to do (bring in the reinforcements, let a period take command, whatever), but please, PLEASE, change that stinking mistake!

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