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Be a Better Writer--Commas with conjunctions

These lessons, by one of our most consistent FaithWriters' Challenge Champions, should not be missed. So we're making a permanent home for them here.

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glorybee
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Re: Be a Better Writer--A quick grammar lesson

Postby glorybee » Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:58 pm

...And I still have to look up all the different tenses of 'lie' and 'lay.' Every. Single. Time. I've been known to re-write a sentence in order to avoid having to use any of those words.

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swfdoc1
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Re: Be a Better Writer--A quick grammar lesson

Postby swfdoc1 » Fri Mar 28, 2014 12:12 am

RachelM wrote:I was recently told about a rhetorical device called asyndeton where conjunctions are intentionally left out.


I find asyndeton and its opposite, polysyndeton, amazingly powerful. I used to teach these techniques to my legal writing students, but without using the technical terms. Here's an example:

Normal: Larry returned home after going everywhere his mother had asked him to go--the grocery store, the craft shop, the deli, and the shoe store.

Asyndeton: Larry returned home after going everywhere his mother had asked him to go--the grocery store, the craft shop, the deli, the shoe store.

Polysyndeton: Larry returned home after going everywhere his mother had asked him to go--the grocery store and the craft shop and the deli and the shoe store.

Which trip sounds quick and easy and which sounds arduous? Or which Larry sounds glad to help his mother and which sounds put upon?
Steve
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"When the Round Table is broken every man must follow Galahad or Mordred; middle
things are gone." C.S. Lewis
“The chief purpose of life … is to increase according to our capacity our knowledge of God by all the means we have, and to be moved by it to praise and thanks. To do as we say in the Gloria in Excelsis ... We praise you, we call you holy, we worship you, we proclaim your glory, we thank you for the greatness of your splendor.” J.R.R. Tolkien

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Re: Be a Better Writer--A quick grammar lesson

Postby glorybee » Fri Mar 28, 2014 7:31 am

Larry is a good son!

I've used both of those techniques, too, without knowing that they were things with actual names. Just one more example of the power of a single little word.

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JudySauer
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Re: Be a Better Writer--Commas with conjunctions

Postby JudySauer » Sun Oct 04, 2015 6:31 pm

Hi Jan,

Even though I was unable to open this lesson from your complied lists, going through the list of actual lessons enabled me to open it. I'm glad my tenacity wasn't letting up because I learned a great acronym FANBOYS. What a great tool. Thank you!

Judy
Mercy, peace, and love be yours in abundance. -Jude 2 NIV

Judy Sauer
http://www.faithwriters.com/member-profile.php?id=23323

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Re: Be a Better Writer--Commas with conjunctions

Postby JudySauer » Tue Oct 27, 2015 4:49 pm

Jan, curious as to the correct comma placement.

I ask the questions, and you answer them.

i ask the questions and you answer them.

Which is right?
Mercy, peace, and love be yours in abundance. -Jude 2 NIV

Judy Sauer
http://www.faithwriters.com/member-profile.php?id=23323

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glorybee
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Re: Be a Better Writer--Commas with conjunctions

Postby glorybee » Tue Oct 27, 2015 4:59 pm

JudySauer wrote:Jan, curious as to the correct comma placement.

I ask the questions, and you answer them.

i ask the questions and you answer them.

Which is right?


Judy, you've tapped into a gray area. Generally, you use a comma before 'and' if 'and' is joining two independent clauses (as it is here).

However, if the clauses are short (as they are here), then you can omit the comma.

In this case, go with whichever one seems best to you.

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Re: Be a Better Writer--Commas with conjunctions

Postby Sibermom65 » Tue Oct 27, 2015 6:37 pm

One of my early teachers taught us to remember that the apostrophe marked where a word was squeezed until a letter squirted out.

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Re: Be a Better Writer--Commas with conjunctions

Postby JudySauer » Thu Oct 29, 2015 6:02 pm

As always, thanks Jan for your infinite wisdom. I wrote it without a comma, then later questioned myself. Your answer helps me grasp the comma usage in this scenario.

:thankssign
Judy
Mercy, peace, and love be yours in abundance. -Jude 2 NIV

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