Passion And The Comma Splice

| August 2, 2007


When I was in High School, my active social life, caused me to have a shortage of credits. An enterprising High School counselor, suggested that I take a College course during my Senior year.

One College unit was worth about four High School units. So one College course, would give me credits to spare.

I went to the local Community College and browsed their schedule. They offered tons of classes and I could choose whatever I wanted.

Naturally, I chose English 1A. I had no idea, this was a required course, or that some people dreaded it. I just thought it sounded fun.

The teacher was a woman named Diane Prime. I will never forget Ms. Prime. She was smart and well traveled. It seemed like she knew something about everything. Plus she told the most interesting stories.

One day, she wanted to explain to us, the importance of taking English Class. She passionately explained, the importance of being able to communicate.

She said, we could accomplish anything, if we developed effective communication skills. I can’t remember her exact words, but at the end of her monologue, she was in tears.

I’ve never forgotten her passion. Plus her lessons on the importance of communication have served me well.

At this time, most of us were still using typewriters, to create our homework. I would turn in messy, smudged essays, covered in white out.

She would always give me a good grade. But my paper would be covered in red ink, saying comma splice, over and over again. Apparently she loved English, but hated comma splices.

What is a comma splice? A comma splice is two complete sentences joined together by a comma. Creating a run on sentence. Here are five methods for fixing a comma splice.

5 Methods of Fixing Comma Splices

  1. Replace the comma with a period, making the two independent clauses two sentences.

  2. Replace the comma with a semi-colon.

  3. Replace the comma with a co-ordinating conjunction (and, but, or, for, yet, nor, or so).

  4. Replace the comma with a subordinating conjunction (after, although, before, unless, as, because, if, since, until, while).

  5. Replace the comma with a semi-colon and a transitional word (however, instead, also, therefore, otherwise).

After this, I assumed all College teachers were as smart and talented as she was. Later on, I discovered this wasn’t so. Ms Prime taught me passion for communication and what a comma splice is. I’ll always be grateful.

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3 Comments on "Passion And The Comma Splice"

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  1. yes, i agree with you. having a great English teacher is a added advantage. Just like me back in those days, i did had an English teacher who is like WIKIPEDIA. Spinning out words after words and at the same time enthralled us with umpteen anecdotes.

  2. Emma says:

    Thank-you, Kher Cheng Guan, some teachers really are remarkable. :grin: