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Let’s Pause to Talk about Commas by Susan R. Hughes


An informative post on the correct way to use commas by Susan R. Hughes

Authors of Main Street

Commas can be sneaky little beasts. They do far more than simply indicate a pause in a sentence, and a writer should never underestimate the importance of using them correctly. Misusing a comma can change the meaning of your sentence and, at the very least, make your otherwise fine writing look sloppy and unprofessional. Although a good editor will clean up a writer’s punctuation, I’ve often seen comma errors crop up in published books, blog posts and blurbs. Here are a few examples of common mistakes.

Restrictive Appositive

I see this error all the time in romance novel blurbs:

INCORRECT: Eminent psychiatrist, Dr. Grady Turner, knew it was wrong to fall in love with a patient.

An appositive is a group of words that identify or explain a noun or pronoun; the appositive is called restrictive if removing it changes the meaning of the sentence. In the example above, “Dr…

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JACQUIE BIGGAR  is a USA Today bestselling author of Romantic Suspense who loves to write about tough, alpha males and strong, contemporary women willing to show their men that true power comes from love.   She is the author of the popular Wounded Hearts series and has just started a new series in paranormal suspense, Mended Souls. She has been blessed with a long, happy marriage and enjoys writing romance novels that end with happily-ever-afters. Jacquie lives in paradise along the west coast of Canada with her family and loves reading, writing, and flower gardening. She swears she can't function without coffee, preferably at the beach with her sweetheart. :)

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