Maxi-rant 11: The killer comma

Do you use commas correctly?

Flaming English by Anna Nolan

Although my instinct is to proffer profuse apologies for my four-week silence, I have, by now, divested myself of any illusions that my writing is of particular importance to anybody but me. Thus, chances are that nobody has missed my musings – but if you have, both a hallelujah and an apology are in order. We are having a most glorious September, and I have been roaming our fabulous mountains more or less non-stop since my last post. Today’s murky interlude has given me the opportunity to tackle one of the killer commas infesting writing as far as the eye can see. It goes like this.

“Where’s Doug?”

“No longer with us, I’m afraid.”

“Oh dear, how awful!”


“When did it happen?”

“Nearly a month ago.”

“Did you attend?”

“Attend what?”

“The funeral, of course.”

Whose funeral?”

“Doug’s – of course.”

“What do you mean Doug’s:

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