Monday, 19 November 2007

You have no soul

img src="" border="0" title="We've moved to" alt="We've moved to" />

Found on my current favourite blog, Passive Aggressive Notes, this example of a comma splice altering the meaning of a sentence is a lesson to all who use commas like confetti.

Thanks to those who used this as a trash can, you have no soul.This is worse than your average splice as the comma unintentionally turns the phrase, 'you have no soul' into a subordinating clause. In other words – because of the people who use the bin for rubbish, the reader of the sign has no soul. I like to imagine a particularly forlorn student (possibly listening to My Chemical Romance or the Smiths) wandering past this notice and thinking, "So that's it; I knew someone was to blame."

Brilliantly, a passing zealot spotted this error and resolved it with an act of grammar vigilantism.

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Anonymous Troy McClure said...

I love that last sentence. I have a weakness for sentences starting with an adverb and a comma, and then at the other end you've got the nugget "grammar vigilantism." Sweet. I hope that springs back to mind if I ever need it.

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