Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Fix: Comma Splices

See if you can identify what's wrong with this sentence: Larry slammed the refrigerator door, he vowed never to buy Roquefort cheese again.

Okay, other than Larry's deep-seated aversion to Roquefort--which may suggest psychological issues--we've got another problem. Duh duh DUUUUHHHH . . . a comma splice.

See, the problem with a comma splice is that it's used between independent clauses. If they're independent they should be standing alone. As in their own sentence. Or at least joined together by a nice coordinating conjunction. Comma splices can confuse the reader who no doubt innately knows that commas only belong with dependent clauses. (Yep.)

Four ways to "fix" a comma splice:

1) Substitute that sucka for a period and capitalize the next word. Larry slammed the refrigerator door. He vowed never to buy Roquefort cheese again.

2) Substitute that sucka for the under-utilized but highly practical semicolon! (Semicolons join independent clauses! Whoot Whoot!) Larry slammed the refrigerator door; he vowed never to buy Roquefort cheese again.

3) Keep the comma, but add a conjunction to the beginning of the second independent clause. Larry slammed the refrigerator door, and he vowed never to buy Roquefort cheese again.

4) Keep the comma, but make one of the independent clauses dependent (meaning it NEEDS another thought to make it complete--don'tcha just hate when people and clauses are so stinkin' needy?!). Slamming the refrigerator door, Larry vowed he would never buy Roquefort cheese again. OR Larry slammed the refrigerator door, vowing he would never buy Roquefort cheese again.

So see? With so many correct ways to convey the same idea, there's really no good excuse for a comma splice.

AND after typing this Friday Fix, I can now spell "Roquefort" in my sleep! YAY! I love it when there are multiple perks! :-)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Fix: Effect vs. Affect

Get ready to be effected, er. . . I mean, affected.


If you find yourself in a quandry, pickle, or other such dilemma about whether to use effect or affect, remember this:

The vast majority of the time use the e when the word is a noun, and a when it's a verb.

There are a few exceptions but let's not clutter things up right now when the above little pearl of wisdom will serve you well about 95% of the time.

1. You have no idea how horseradish and sauerkraut (affect/effect) me.
2. You cannot believe the (affect/effect) horseradish and sauerkraut have on me.

1. affect
2. effect

How'd ya do?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday Fix: Hodge Podge of "Unwords"

Supposably, there are some words that take on completely different identities, though they're just simular enough that we reckanize them.

See what I mean?

Supposably? That should be supposedly.

Simular? That would be similar.

Reckanize? Um, that should be recognize.

...cracks me UP!

What are some words that you hear mispronounced?

Friday, January 8, 2010

Friday Fix: Don't Make Promises You Can't Keep

If you caught my post from Christmas Day, you may remember that I told you to be sure and come back the next week (New Year's Day), tantalizing you with the possibility of a Friday Fix that would start 2010 out with a BANG! (Because, yanno, what's more tantalizing than a Friday Fix?)

Scroll down and check. . . is there a post for January 1st? Um, that would be "no," she typed sheepishly.

I knew in the back of my mind that it would be tough to post during the holidays, but I figured I'd also have a little free time to think and come up with something. Wrong-O.

The result? I'm experiencing loser-like feelings of inadequacy, and any readers--I think there are still one or two of you out there--are wondering wassup. I hate not following through, but I guess not enough to make sure I do at any cost.

So learn from my mistake and if you're not 100% sure you can live up to the promise, don't make it. And I vow to do the same.