Do you have any big celebrations planned? Come on, you can tell me…
In honor of this minor holiday, I thought I would talk about some of my personal issues with punctuation. Feel free to share your own in the comments.
- I want a comma before then almost all of the time. For some reason, I think in my head that then should be treated like but. In my recent edits of my work in progress, I have changed many a “then” sentence. One example is I would like it to be correct to say, “He crossed the room, then sat down.” Now why, I don’t know, but I clearly need to become more aware of it, since I had to fix a ton of those. The best explanation that I’ve found about this resides at the Music City Romance Writers site, here. http://www.mcrw.com/index.php/and-then-and-then/ This was from the Grammar Wench, and I found her musings insightful.
- I over-use the em dash. This is the long dash that can sometimes be used in place of commas to separate a dependent clause. I love em dashes. I need to be more judicious in my use so my prose doesn’t appear choppy.
- I caught myself several times using multiple exclamation points. Really?!!?? (Sorry, couldn’t resist)
So what punctuation infractions are you fighting as you write/edit your next work? You know you want to confess. You get amnesty on National Punctuation Day!