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  1. #1
    donnach is offline Member
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    Default How would you punctuate the sentence in blue?

    I'm so sorry, I was looking on the map and really contemplating the drive, the gas costs, my sanity and have come to the conclusion that I should've listened to your concerns more earnestly. You are right, the distance just isn't feasible.

    I'm going for a kind of deadpan effect with the in-line statement "the drive, the gas costs, my sanity".
    Should I place a comma after sanity?

  2. #2
    SirGod's Avatar
    SirGod is offline Member
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    Default Re: How would you punctuate the sentence in blue?

    *Not a teacher

    I would put a comma after 'my sanity'. Definitely.

  3. #3
    TheParser is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: How would you punctuate the sentence in blue?

    Quote Originally Posted by donnach View Post
    I'm so sorry, I was looking on the map and really contemplating the drive, the gas costs, my sanity and have come to the conclusion that I should've listened to your concerns more earnestly. You are right, the distance just isn't feasible.

    I'm going for a kind of deadpan effect with the in-line statement "the drive, the gas costs, my sanity".
    Should I place a comma after sanity?

    NOT A TEACHER


    (1) Very nice sentence.

    (2) I would rewrite it as:

    I am so sorry. I was looking at the map and really contemplating

    the drive, the cost, and my sanity. I have come to the conclusion

    that I should've listened to your concerns more earnestly.


    OR:

    ...really contemplating the drive, the costs, and my sanity, and I have

    come to ....


    The above is only my opinion.

  4. #4
    donnach is offline Member
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    Default Re: How would you punctuate the sentence in blue?

    Thanks. I really like the deadpan effect leaving out the 'and' before sanity. How about this one? Are the red commas correct?

    I was looking on the map, contemplating the drive, the cost of gas, my sanity, and have come to the conclusion that...


  5. #5
    TheParser is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: How would you punctuate the sentence in blue?

    Quote Originally Posted by donnach View Post
    Thanks. I really like the deadpan effect leaving out the 'and' before sanity. How about this one? Are the red commas correct?

    I was looking on the map, contemplating the drive, the cost of gas, my sanity, and have come to the conclusion that...


    NOT A TEACHER


    Hopefully a professional writer will answer you -- and me.

    Have a nice day.

    James


  6. #6
    donnach is offline Member
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    Default Re: How would you punctuate the sentence in blue?

    There's no need for a professional writer.

    This may be the ticket:

    I was looking at the map and contemplating the drive, the cost of gas, my sanity, and I have come to the conclusion that...

  7. #7
    TheParser is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: How would you punctuate the sentence in blue?

    Quote Originally Posted by donnach View Post
    There's no need for a professional writer.

    This may be the ticket:

    I was looking at the map and contemplating the drive, the cost of gas, my sanity, and I have come to the conclusion that...


    NOT A TEACHER


    (1) You are correct in the sense that you, as a writer, may write

    anything you wish. In fact, I think that some of the greatest

    writers in English have broken the rules. But, as I understand it,

    one may break the rules only after s/he knows that a rule is

    being broken.

    (2) I cannot put my finger on it, but your sentence seems

    to lead your reader astray (just a little tiny bit).

    (3) Let me try to explain:

    (a) Look at this sentence: I am contemplating the drive, the

    cost of gas, the sanity, and I have come to the conclusion that ....

    (i) The sentence seems -- at first reading -- to say that you

    are contemplating 4 things: the drive, the cost of gas, the

    sanity, and I have come to the conclusion.

    (ii) As you know, the first three are nouns, and the fourth is a sentence.

    For example, would you agree that the following is infelicitous (not

    a "happy" use of words):

    I like ice cream, pie, candy, and I am now baking some donuts. (It

    seems to say that I like four things.)

    Woudn't it be clearer to write:

    I like ice cream, pie, and candy. I am now baking some donuts.

    OR

    I like ice cream, pie, and candy, and I am now baking some donuts.

    (4) As I said, a writer may write anything s/he wishes. But I have

    read that if a writer loses his/her reader (that is, if a reader has to

    stop and think what the writer is trying to say), then the writer

    has "failed."

    (4) You do not wish to use "and" in front of "my sanity." You say that

    it gives a "deadpan" sense. Well, then, you should do what you wish.

    I am sure that every reader would understand what you wish to express.


    Best of luck to you on your writing career.


    James

  8. #8
    Dragonness is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: How would you punctuate the sentence in blue?

    Based on the language I conclude that the context is an email or letter that you're writing to a friend. With that in mind, here's how I would correct your sentence to maintain the 'deadpan' effect as you call it:

    "I'm so sorry, I was looking on the map and really contemplating the drive/gas costs/my sanity and have come to the conclusion that I should've listened to your concerns more earnestly. You are right, the distance just isn't feasible."

    (I'm not a teacher but I do have an English degree and write for a living.)

  9. #9
    donnach is offline Member
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    Default Re: How would you punctuate the sentence in blue?

    I think that's too business-y. (Though it *is* in reference to a job interview, I still don't like the matter-of-factness feeling of the slashes.)

  10. #10
    donnach is offline Member
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    Default Re: How would you punctuate the sentence in blue?

    But, as I understand it,

    one may break the rules only after s/he knows that a rule is

    being broken.
    I think it's all about how the reader interprets it. A reader may think the writer knew the rules and knew how to break them for effect. Or vice versa. Or any other combination between writer/reader.

    Case in point:

    I like ice cream, pie, candy, and I am now baking some donuts. (It

    seems to say that I like four things.)
    Not to me it doesn't. It says you like sweets, and because of that fact you're baking some donuts.

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