I have decided to create a new app. I haven’t decided on a name but the premise behind the app is that most people hate commas as much as I do. The app will work much like Grammar Check in Word. It will take your writing and add or subtract commas as necessary. Grammar Check in Word is useless when it comes to commas.
My friend from England tells me they have different rules for commas and quotation marks, etc. than we do here in the states. When you search the internet for answers, you find conflicting answers. The rule is usually this but sometimes you can do it the other way. This is the rule but it is optional. How is a rule optional? If it were optional, wouldn’t that be a suggestion?
To join two independent clauses, use a comma followed by a conjunction, a semicolon alone, or a semicolon followed by a sentence modifier. I found this on a site claiming to make understanding grammar simple. I am challenging their claim. This reads more like something from an attorney. It is rule number one of eleven. A page of examples and exceptions follows each rule.
Before I started sharing my writing with others, I didn’t really care about grammatical syntax, changing verb tenses, colons, semicolons, dangling participles, and more. Now, as I begin to write I am suddenly back in high school trying to memorize rules about commas and diagramming sentences. (Grammar Check just told me to put a comma after suddenly. REALLY?)
I took a writing class last year and part of the critique I received was that I tended to use run on sentences and change verb tense at different times. Yes, I use run on sentences. I know I do. When I edit a piece, I look for sentences I can separate. I also tend to use the passive voice too much. Is that a Freudian thing? Maybe it is a reflection on life. I hope not. The teacher told me a couple of things about my writing style are things she typically doesn’t recommend for writers, but I do them so well, I should break the rules.
I sometimes feel I lose something in my writing by being so concerned about all the grammar rules. I would hate to have my writing disregarded because of the incorrect use of commas. Either I create an app that will handle the commas and make other grammatical errors easier to remedy or I my friend from England to correct all of it. She is one of the best proofreaders I know. Neither seems like a perfect solution. If you figure this out, please let me know. Just be sure the grammar is correct!