Comma splices - are they OK? - Page 5


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Thread: Comma splices - are they OK?

  1. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnCalliganWrites View Post
    I don’t think it is true that you need to write according to the rules or break them well to have many readers who like your books. The proof is in the numbers. I click look inside, and if I don’t like the writing, I don’t buy it. The only reason to worry about comma splices is to get the money from people who use “look inside” and hate comma splices. So many people don’t care about splices that there are writers with big followings that don’t seem to edit at all. Are there people looking down their nose? Sure. Are there people who buy books based on genre and cover, and then are surprised by the writing? Sure. If the writer doesn’t care about any of those opinions, then his comma splice isn’t wrong. Could he take English classes, and then spend twice as long on writing it, and then spend a grand paying an editor? Sure. But if his people don’t care, all that sounds foolish.

    the whole elitism or demanding proper grammar and punctuation, despite the cost in time and money, forced on people who don’t even care, strikes me as elitism in any other art. Imagine some percussionist with a doctorate in music education looking down his nose at the drummer for a pop rock band who taught himself. Look at all the errors. The simple mess. The wrong use of hands. He’s rushing. Blah blah blah. And then he fills a stadium and no one cares. Same thing.
    There probably are readers who don't care or notice comma splices and purchase accordingly but to me, adhering to the conventions is not just about playing to a specific market. It's also - as is the case for me - about creating something just the way I want it, so I can be pleased with it. That's important to me. If I want to comma-splice I do so, and if I want regular sentences, I have them. But it must be fully under my control. My issue with comma splices is that in many cases they seem to be a mark of a lack of control.

    That fits with your percussionist analogy. Both classical and pop require elements of control and various skills. A better comparison would be one drummer that can keep time and fit in with other musicians before going nuts on their jazz exploration polyrhythms and insane rockin' solo, and another that hits their crashes and rides every 3.7 beats, disregarding the rest of the composition and putting unnecessary fills over everything. I mean, that's not to say there isn't such music written in 3.7:4 time and that it may or may not be a work of staggering genius. There could be. Is that really what the second musician is playing, in every case? That's what's debatable. Does thinking that make me elitist? No. It just makes me appreciative of quality, and cognisant of differences in abilities. Equally there's a valid place for bashing stuff out, especially when it throws up something cool.


    Hidden Content Monthly Fiction Challenge


    Beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror which we are barely able to endure, and are awed,
    because it serenely disdains to annihilate us.
    - Rainer Maria Rilke, "Elegy I"

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  2. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by JonF View Post
    I'm guilty of these in the heat of writing the first draft. I usually edit them out into proper sentences later.
    The devil-voice on my right shoulder just said "Good!"



    Hidden Content Monthly Fiction Challenge


    Beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror which we are barely able to endure, and are awed,
    because it serenely disdains to annihilate us.
    - Rainer Maria Rilke, "Elegy I"

    *

    Is this fire, or is this mask?
    It's the Mantasy!
    - Anonymous

    *

    C'mon everybody, don't need this crap.
    - Wham!





  3. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by luckyscars View Post

    one guitar player telling another guitar player that they shouldn't bother tuning their guitar, on the basis that most of the crowd is either too drunk, stupid, or indifferent to care how their music sounds.
    Speaking of which, I heard Oasis may be reforming.


    Hidden Content Monthly Fiction Challenge


    Beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror which we are barely able to endure, and are awed,
    because it serenely disdains to annihilate us.
    - Rainer Maria Rilke, "Elegy I"

    *

    Is this fire, or is this mask?
    It's the Mantasy!
    - Anonymous

    *

    C'mon everybody, don't need this crap.
    - Wham!





  4. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by Irwin View Post
    I haven't been following this discussion too carefully, and somebody may have posted this already, but talk about comma splices!
    {{What follows is the opening paragraph to A Tale OF Two Cities.}}
    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Istine View Post
    Extract from Dickens novel:


    This is probably one of those instances when the author's fame preceded him and he could get away with it. Apart from that, if full stops or semi-colons were to be used, it wouldn't flow. I also feel that the extract fits better with the writing styles of those times. Bear in mind that the readers might have been a little more haute taute in those days, as widespread literacy was in its early days. Apart from that, he was probably paid by the word. I like that he capitalised Light and Darkness.

    I think that, considering the likely reading audience of the time, Dickens' style as shown above was reasonable. I can imagine such wordsmithery being quite palatable on stage too.

    Hypothesis: Dickens wrote that as a bit on an f-you to grammarians, to demonstrate that comma splices can work. Discuss, drawing attention to the difference between good comma splicing and bad comma splicing.


    Hidden Content Monthly Fiction Challenge


    Beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror which we are barely able to endure, and are awed,
    because it serenely disdains to annihilate us.
    - Rainer Maria Rilke, "Elegy I"

    *

    Is this fire, or is this mask?
    It's the Mantasy!
    - Anonymous

    *

    C'mon everybody, don't need this crap.
    - Wham!





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