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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Criminal Sentence 480: Fishy Comma

From a book I'm reading (this sentence refers to herring):

"In its fresh form, this small, silvery fish (cousin to the sardine), figured prominently in the local diet."

Hmmm. There's something fishy about that last comma! Delete! Delete!

1 comment:

Westley said...

I am constantly amazed at how many times I find a comma following a parenthetical phrase, almost as if the author intended to take another breath before finishing the sentence. I just tell them to take out the entire phrase (including the parentheses) and see if it still makes sense. In this case it would have left the offending comma between the subject (fish) and the verb (figured), definitely a no-no.