Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Ask the English Teacher: Comma On Over
A lot of people like Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss. I think it's a fun book, but I think diagramming sentences is fun too, so don't go by me. Truthfully, in her section on commas, Truss spends a lot of time discussing the history of the comma. It's a very controversial punctuation mark; in fact, my own daughter has very strong opinions on it. Once you get past the whole controversial history, her explanations of when and how to use the comma are very clear.
My personal favorite is Patricia T. O'Conner's Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe's Guide to Better English in Plain English . I'm sure you'll learn a lot from Chapter 8: "Comma Sutra: The Joy of Punctuation." Her explanations are simple and down-to-earth. You don't need to have an English degree to figure out what she's talking about.
I hope this is helpful to you, XL, and of course, you can always come here for answers as well. Thanks for stopping by.