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    #1

    The acceptable run-ons?

    Between two complete sentences, one should use a period ".", or at least a semicolon ";'". But here is an exception:




    Context:

    Indifference, to me, is the epitome of evil. The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. The opposite of beauty is not ugliness, it's indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, but indifference between life and death.
    US News & World Report (27 October 1986)

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    #2

    Re: The acceptable run-ons?

    Punctuation combines two very separate things. First, it structures the logic of the running thoughts. The rule you cite is an example. But second, it reflects the natural pauses of careful speech, and the four stops , ; : . mark pauses of increasing length. The two aspects are not quite compatible. Since good writing is without exception good speech, the second aspect sometimes overrides the first. Therefore good punctuation can be somewhat inconsistent with the logic-based rules for good punctuation, and the commas in your example are entirely correct.

    The rule about avoiding run-ons should always be checked with the way you would read a sentence carefully to convey its meaning to your listeners while demanding the minimal effort from them.
    Last edited by abaka; 25-Jun-2012 at 08:14.

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    #3

    Re: The acceptable run-ons?

    Quote Originally Posted by NewHopeR View Post
    Between two complete sentences, one should use a period ".", or at least a semicolon ";'". But here is an exception:




    Context:

    Indifference, to me, is the epitome of evil. The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. The opposite of beauty is not ugliness, it's indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, but indifference between life and death.
    US News & World Report (27 October 1986)
    That's not a run-on, it's a complete thought.

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