educationlanguage & grammar

Punctuation 101: periods vs. comas

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I’ve been called a grammar nerd, but I don’t mind. It’s something that’s important to me, and having put myself so far into debt by chasing my degree in English, it pains me every time I catch a glimpse of society’s lax attitude toward proper grammar. The fact that as technology has progressed, the general population’s understanding of basic grammar has severely declined, is no secret to anyone. But it’s embarrassing — seriously. Almost daily, I see people making mistakes with very basic things, like periods and comas. Typically, when I call somebody out on it, I get a response that’s something like, “Dude, whatever, it’s just a Facebook post.” But it’s not just a Facebook post. It’s putting yourself out there for the world to see with a giant sign around your neck that says: I Haven’t Learned Basic English Yet. It’s really not even that hard. Here’s the difference:

Period — n. a punctuation mark that ends a declarative sentence. They can also be used in abbreviations, such as Mr. or Dr.

Coma — n. a state of prolonged unconsciousness, including a lack of response to stimuli, from which it is impossible to rouse a person.

(This was so stupid.)

Ian Micir is associate editor of When Falls the Coliseum. He graduated from Drexel University with a BA in English in June of 2012. During his time at Drexel, he won ten awards for writing, including five in his final year. Micir’s work has appeared in The 33rd – An Anthology and The Classical.

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