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Thread: Comma

  1. #1
    Allen165 is offline Key Member
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    Default Comma

    "I know that nothing lasts forever. So open your eyes, look. Before you is not an old woman; before you am I."

    Should the comma preceding "look" be a semicolon?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    corum is offline Banned
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    Default Re: Comma

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmin165 View Post
    "I know that nothing lasts forever. So open your eyes, look. Before you is not an old woman; before you am I."

    Should the comma preceding "look" be a semicolon?

    Thanks.
    asyndentic coordination of verbs, no semi-colon

  3. #3
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Comma

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmin165 View Post
    "I know that nothing lasts forever. So open your eyes, look. Before you is not an old woman; before you am I."

    Should the comma preceding "look" be a semicolon?

    Thanks.
    Hi Jasmin,
    I have no idea what "asyndentic coordination of verbs" means, but I would not use a comma here. It's a comma splice. Two commands joined by a comma.

    So open your eyes: look!
    So open your eyes. Look. (or Look!)
    So open your eyes and look!

    (For some reason, the colon only works for me if you make the "look!" command emphatic with the exclamation mark, but that is probably just my personal preference.)
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  4. #4
    corum is offline Banned
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    Default Re: Comma

    asyndentic means there is no overt coordinator (and)

    Of course the use of semi-colon is not incorrect.

  5. #5
    Barb_D's Avatar
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    Default Re: Comma

    Quote Originally Posted by corum View Post
    asyndentic means there is no overt coordinator (and)

    Of course the use of semi-colon is not incorrect.
    But you don't use a semi-colon when there IS an "and." You use the semi-colon when you have two independent clauses but no conjunction.

    I would not join these two command with a semi-colon, but I don't see the connection between the omitted "and" and the resulting unsuitability of a semi-colon. Can you help me see your thinking on this?
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  6. #6
    Abstract Idea is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Comma

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    I have no idea what "asyndentic coordination of verbs" means
    Quote Originally Posted by corum View Post
    asyndentic means there is no overt coordinator (and)

    Of course the use of semi-colon is not incorrect.
    I also didn't know that technical term. That is one of the advantages of visiting UsingEnglish in the morning, you begin your day by learning something new and interesting.

    It seems the name is "asyndetic" rather than "asyndentic".
    I am reading Asyndeton - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  7. #7
    corum is offline Banned
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    Default Re: Comma

    Cool! Asyndentic

  8. #8
    corum is offline Banned
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    Default Re: Comma

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    But you don't use a semi-colon when there IS an "and." You use the semi-colon when you have two independent clauses but no conjunction.
    Yes. When I said the semi-colon is okay, I was not thinking of the asyndetic approach.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    So open your eyes. Look. (or Look!)
    I have always believed that where the full stop is possible, the semi-colon is possible too, and vice-versa.

  9. #9
    bertietheblue is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Comma

    I don't have a problem with the comma, semi-colon, dash, colon, full-stop or exclamation mark. What does that tell you?

  10. #10
    corum is offline Banned
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    Default Re: Comma

    Quote Originally Posted by bertietheblue View Post
    I don't have a problem with the comma, semi-colon, dash, colon, full-stop or exclamation mark. What does that tell you?

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