Confessions of a Comma Hippie

Apparently I am a permissive comma parent. I don't particularly feel like I have intentionally let my commas run amok. However, my proof-reader/grammar-correcter/dear-wife seems to develop a great deal of angst over my laissez-faire approach to comma discipline.

In my humble opinion, I think she can be a bit overbearing in her comma parenting. Try to think of it from the comma's perspective. They never get to hang out at the end of a sentence. They are routinely excluded from office memos that contain bullet lists. They are often degraded and replaced by a semicolon. And, to top off the unfair treatment of the poor little things, they are eternally caught in the crossfire of the infamous Oxford comma custody battle between being, or not being.

At least she comes to their defense as a champion of the Oxford comma. If you see any of my writing with the Oxford comma omitted, I can assure you, that is an oversight.

The sad reality is, I actually like to have my commas in their proper positions. I take pains to keep the little guys corralled when I am working on a text. The real problem is when we go out in public, and they get into the verbal part of life. It's just so enjoyable to watch them run freely. Unfortunately, that seems to have an influence on my fingers and, the next thing you know, I'm letting those little rascals run free on paper too.

The moral of the story is, if you want to know how to raise proper commas, ask my wife. If you ask me, I'll likely shrug and say, “Throw them around liberally, then add a few at the end of every text, and they'll find their way home.”

And, for the record, no commas were harmed in the making of this blog post.