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    #1

    Is there a comma splice?

    Mr Lee said, "I'm less concerned about the impact of the salary revisions of my present team of ministers. They've come, they've committed themselves, they're in for the course, this pay cut is not going to affect their dedication to serve."

    Do native speakers punctuate the way it is done in bold? Is there a comma splice?

    Thanks.

  1. JohnParis's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Is there a comma splice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    Mr Lee said, "I'm less concerned about the impact of the salary revisions of my present team of ministers. They've come, they've committed themselves, they're in for the course, this pay cut is not going to affect their dedication to serve."

    Do native speakers punctuate the way it is done in bold? Is there a comma splice?

    Thanks.
    If the sentence above is a direct quotation of what was said by Mr.Lee, and if he paused after each of the phrases set off by commas, then the answer is "yes." In reported speech, the writer is required not only to repeat every word spoken but he is also required to repeat the cadence of the sentence as he heard it. This may not always be grammatical and this is not how I would have expressed the same idea. Yet, this is a quotation of what was said by Mr. Lee - not me. Therefore, it should report as accurately as possible all elements of what he said and how he said it.

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    #3

    Re: Is there a comma splice?

    Thanks, John

    The speech is within quote marks, so I wonder why Mr Lee used so many commas. I believe that the reporter reproduced his speech as it was written by him. In other words, he had gvien the reporter a hard copy of his speech.

    In my opinion, more full stops should have been used.

    I wonder if native speakers use commas liberally.

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Is there a comma splice?

    A lot of people just put commas where they take a breath. This isn't very careful, and wouldn't be regarded as acceptable in written work (rather than simple quotation of words spoken).

    For eaxample, in what Mr Lee says there is an implied subordination:
    They've come, they've committed themselves, they're in for the course...
    This is a rhetorically satisfying unit - a group of three. 'Friends, Romans, Countrymen...' 'Faith, Hope, and Charity...' 'Liberty, Equality, Fraternity'.... In writing, it woukl be three sentences - or one sentence divided in three with two semi-colons.

    The next bit is a consequence or conclusion, which could be introduced by a new sentence, starting 'So/Therefore/We can safely infer that '... or something of that kind:

    this pay cut is not going to affect their dedication to serve
    But ,as John said, you shouldn't rewrite someone else's words, if - by the punctuation you use (quotation marks) - you say 'This is precisely what he said.

    b

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