Writing is an intrinsic part of life, whether it’s a school note, a research paper or the next New York Times best seller. The way we weave words together or where we place a comma can completely change the meaning of a sentence. Here are a few of my favorite examples:
Let’s eat Grandma!
Let’s eat, Grandma!
Eats, shoots, and leaves.
Eats shoots and leaves.
I’m going to party with the strippers, Obama, and Romney.
I’m going to party with the strippers, Obama and Romney.
Notice how the placement of the comma gives each sentence a completely different meaning?
Take a closer look at that last example and notice how in the first sentence you and Obama and Romney are all going to party with strippers, whereas in the second sentence you are partying with two strippers. Obama and Romney.
So the next time you’re putting words on the page take a closer look at what you may actually be telling your reader. And in the mean time, feel free to share some of your favorite examples of how much comma placement matters.