Saturday, October 18, 2008
The Sad Fate of the Comma
We liked the first part of the article, but we wish he'd stuck with his original topic rather than use it to segue into a sophomoric lecture of cultural pessimism. That kind of false advertising does the comma's fate a great disservice.
And what's wrong with multitasking or "feverish ardor" anyway? Machines don't understand the tasks they perform, and that doesn't hinder them in the least!
If all this involved only grammar, I might let it lie. But grammar's where he shouldn't let it lay! People still don't realize the danger of omitting the serial comma! "Which" and "that" are still confused! No one knows what the semicolon does!
The comma should be a clarifier of prose, not a weigh station on the freeway of shorthand.