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Petey's Pipeline E-zine

Issue #41

December 4, 2006


Contents

Business First December Update: I'm Baaa-aack!
Random Ramblings & Miscellaneous Musings National Security—Safe or Sorry
Write Thinking Punctuation – the Marks of Professionals (the Comma, Part III of IV)

Business First (Editorial)

December Update: I'm Baaa-aack!

NaNoWriMo is over for another year, and now it's time to get back to work. No, I didn't finish a 50,000-word novel in 30 days, but I did develop a pretty good strategy for finishing a full-length novel in a couple of years. We'll see.

In the meantime, I'm getting a head start on the next Petey's Pipeline issue, due out on December 18th. See you then!

• • •

For an occasional dose of insight and opinion, read Petey's Pipeline Blog.

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Random Ramblings & Miscellaneous Musings

National Security—Safe or Sorry

On December 18th, issue #42 features an article on food security to launch a multiple-part series related to national security concerns.


Copyright © 2006 by Phil Hanson
All rights reserved.

Write Thinking

Punctuation – the Marks of Professionals

Getting punctuation right is critical to making your writing intelligible and coherent. As with misspelled and misused words, misused or missing punctuation takes your message off track and confuses your readers. To help you avoid the avoidable, the next few installments of Write Thinking deal with punctuation marks, in all their many forms, with example sentences provided for clarification.

The Comma (,), Part III of IV

• A comma precedes the conjunctions and, but, for, nor, or, and yet when they join independent clauses in a compound sentence.

I took the car to the repair shop like you suggested, and they should have it ready by noon.

She tried to deliver the message in person, but no one was home.

• It's okay to omit the comma between most short clauses and some long clauses if the meaning is clear.

She looked but didn't see the hidden message.

• A comma fault occurs when a comma is used sans coordinate conjunction between two independent clauses.

The players in impromptu games don't adhere to a fixed set of rules, they make up rules to fit the situation.

• Punctuate in one of three ways to eliminate the comma fault:

The players in impromptu games don't adhere to a fixed set of rules, but they make up rules to fit the situation. (Use a coordinate conjunction)

The players in impromptu games don't adhere to a fixed set of rules; they make up rules to fit the situation. (Use a semicolon)

The players in impromptu games don't adhere to a fixed set of rules. They make up rules to fit the situation. (Use two simple sentences)

• If the independent clauses of a compound sentence are long or contain internal punctuation, use a semicolon before the coordinate conjunction.

The players in impromptu games don't adhere to a fixed set of rules; but they make up rules, out of necessity, to fit the situation.

• When words or phrases express contrast, use a comma to separate them.

The copilot, not the pilot, landed the plane.

• Separate month, year or definite place with a comma.

On March 20, 2003, President Bush launched a preemptive war by bombing Baghdad, Iraq.

Copyright © 2006 by Phil Hanson
All rights reserved.

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