Saving Joey

“If I knew I was going to become a writer,
I would have paid a lot more attention in grammar class.”
-c.e.b.

Okay, so I may not have been into the nuances of the comma as a child, but as an adult–I’m obsessed. For some reason, my brain takes great enjoyment from the proper use of those little suckers. I often share private giggles with myself over the comical and sometimes destructive force of their misuse.

Take this sentence for example:

Just chew, Joey.

Seems simple enough. The sentence shows frustration, probably from a parent over Joey’s lack of enthusiasm for chewing his food.

No big deal. We’ve all seem that before. Now take out the comma. You’ve got a whole new problem.

Just chew Joey.

No longer do we see a frustrated parent concerned over the possible malnutrition of their child. Now we find ourselves looking into the face of a villain, possibly a jagged-toothed monster, who has no problem dining on poor Joey or commanding someone else to do the same.

I know, my example is a bit dramatic, but you get my point. Commas are important. That’s not to say I always use them properly. I can’t bring back everything I daydreamed through during elementary, middle, and high school. At least I’m trying.

Hey, someone’s got to save Joey!

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