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    #1

    Commas in Compound Predicates

    Can somebody provide me with a better perspective, please.

    *Is the practise of separating a long compound predicate with a comma unequivocally incorrect, no matter the circumstances?
    Here's a typical example sentence: "The lambasting took place at the advent of the new revolution in an unexpected fashion, and encouraged his detractors to rethinks their next move."

    Clearly, the* second 'clause', as this writer perceives it by their use of the comma, is missing a tangible subject, so isn't this an incorrect construction? The pause obviously 'feels' natural when reading aloud, but is it correct?

    Although I don't have a specific examples to hand, I've even come across this type of construction in the latest version of the Oxford Style Manual--I've tried looking for it but been unsuccessful--so it must be an 'acceptable practise'!? And I'll repeat: it's definitely in there somewhere. I know because it causes a knee jerk reaction everytime I read it.

    As a final point, consider these two articles, which I stumbled across on the Web:
    (1) http://www.businessinsider.com/comma...es-2014-5?IR=T
    (2) http://simplewriting.org/worst-punctuation-mistake/
    Both explain that this is WRONG!

    So, is this just one of those grey areas? Some pretty educated folks, including those at Oxford, seem to violate (perhaps undeliberately) this rule.

    Thanks for any responses I may receive.

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Commas in Compound Predicates

    "The lambasting took place at the advent of the new revolution in an unexpected fashion, and encouraged his detractors to rethinks their next move."
    Please provide the source and author of this sentence. (rethinks is a mistake, by the way)
    “Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”

    — Arthur Schopenhauer

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Commas in Compound Predicates

    Commas are a matter of style in many cases, not the "hard rules" grammar.

    There is the "rule" that two fully independent clauses joined by a FANBOYS conjunction "must" have a comma that is often ignored. (I washed the dishes and I swept the floor. -- Most wouldn't put a comma there.)

    I would absolutely include a comma there. You'd pause when you say it, and you want to visually separate those long predicate phrases from each other. But what I'd REALLY do is ask myself "If I need vocal inflection or punctuation to separate these very long predicate phrases that are in one sentence, is this really written as clearly as it could be?"
    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.

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