Wanton Cruelty to the Common Comma

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The Greengrocer's Apostrophe strike's again!

Rimmer: After intensive investigation, comma, of the markings on the alien pod, comma, it has become clear, comma, to me, comma, that we are dealing, comma, with a species of awesome intellect, colon.

Holly: Good. Perhaps they might be able to give you a hand with your punctuation.
Red Dwarf, "Waiting for God"

Sometimes, a particular convention, grammar, or usage glitch will kill a viewer's Willing Suspension of Disbelief, driving him straight out of the text he is reading. This trope is all about those sorts of glitches.

Named for Sam Vimes' description of one of the distinguishing features of Captain Carrot's writing. Many Discworld citizens regard punctuation as something required, but that inclusion is enough in and of itself. Members of the Guild of Greengrocer's even pepper their speech with incorrect punctuation on occasion, which seems like Psmith Psyndrome until you realise that these people are genuinely misspeaking in accordance with how their miswritten signs imply that they should be read.

Related to Rouge Angles of Satin, and most definitely a Berserk Button of any Grammar Nazi. No Punctuation Period and Tenses are subtropes.

Obligatory Tropes Are Not Bad disclaimer: every rule of the English language is there for a reason. Most of them are like driving laws: they enhance safety and help keep things organized. But once you know why those rules exist, it's possible to break them safely, without causing any crashes and maybe even avoiding them. But that takes work and practice; if you can't get it right when you do it correctly, you sure can't get it right when you do it wrong. So, kids: Don't Try This At Home.

Please try to avoid sounding like a Grammar Nazi when adding examples. Remember also, for the purpose of keeping oneself sane, that language, especially English, changes throughout time. What you think is a mistake may soon become so common that it is the norm, and in twenty years your descendants will be correcting you for doing it the old way.

Self-demonstrating examples are all right, but please, for the sake of readability, try not to go overboard.

Example's of Wanton Cruelty to the Common Comma, include;

Over-Punctuation[edit | hide | hide all]

  • As shown in the Red Dwarf quote, found at the top of the page, the overpresence, or abundance, one might say, of commas is a phenomenon which, to some, can, seemingly, cause frustration.
    • Sentences, like the one above, where every comma has a defensible, albeit overly fussy, reason for being there, are less aggravating, than sentences, where commas, are just thrown, in, wherever the speaker might pause, to take a breath.
  • Some writers like to use ellipses in place of commas which... besides being infuriating to those who understand the proper use of the ellipses... makes it look like the writer is either leaving out a lot or just struggling to think of a way to end the sentence (or is William Shatner). In addition.... the number of periods used in said ellipses tends to vary wildly..... anywhere from the standard three[1]................................................................. |to infinity and beyond.
    • Some might argue that ellipses are inappropriate period in technical writing (unless indicating a truncated quotation), but ellipses of varying length are beneficial to informal communication for conveying various nonverbal cues—two periods mark a slight hesitation, three indicate trailing off, many more for Chirping Crickets.
      • And others would argue that that shows a lack of understanding about punctuation, as any of those can be conveyed in other ways. (For chirping crickets, stick some non-dialogue description in between.)
        • Yet others would remind those others that the point the original arguers were making related not to dialogues in a written work, but actual written communication, where sticking a non-dialogue description could possibly hurt the flow of the dialogue more than a row of periods. *The poster looks especially self-satisfied at the obviously mocking use of weasel words he accomplished in his response.*
  • Exclamation points do not stack!!! Not even when you're writing out dialog for Brian Blessed!
    • Nor are exclamation points to be used when someone is speaking calmly. For some reason, people like to put an exclamation point at the end of a quote where the original delivery was entirely deadpan.
      • Once in a while, amazing as it sounds, there is a reason for this. In old comic books the printing was so shoddy that an isolated dot could easily be left out, so many classic comics end every single sentence with an exclamation mark just to make sure there would be something.
    • "And all those exclamation marks, you notice? Five? A sure sign of someone who wears his underpants on his head."
  • Use of "quotation marks" for "emphasis," which make readers think you're being "sarcastic."
    • Often happens by accident on this very wiki, when editors get the italics markup wrong.
    • Also using "Quotation" marks to "isolate" any word that might be seen as "racy" or "unusual" or is in the "slightest bit of doubt." Reading text like this is infinitely more fun if you do "finger quotes" every time it comes up.
    • Furthermore, technically, punctuation should only go inside the quotation marks when quoting the sentence, and not just for "a few words". Quotations for "emphasis" usually fall "under this". "Do you see what I'm saying?"
      • It gets worse—commas and periods follow this logical rule everywhere except America, where they go inside quotation marks at all times. The reason? Handset type in printing presses—periods and commas by themselves tended to get knocked out of alignment, so they were tucked inside the wider—and therefore heavier—quotation marks for safety. British typesetters evidently preferred the other way.
    • Behold thy savior: The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks!
    • Note this is actually correct in Japanese. However, that doesn't mean you can leave it when translating a manga, since then you'll make the dialogue sound funny.
      • Technically, Japanese does not use quotation marks ("...") They use half-brackets which resemble the top half of an left square bracket to start the quote and the bottom half of a right square bracket to end. 「Like this」.
  • The Greengrocers' Apostrophe: the use of an apostrophe to basically warn people that there's an "s" on the end of the word. Apple's $0.99 per pound! Apparently the other Wiki indicates that a major grocery chain sort of overcorrects for this.
    • This is made worse when the plural form is inherently different from the singular, like when the grocer has a sale on "potatoe's." (We can only presume that they once belonged to Potatoe. Or Dan Quayle.)
  • The use of + to mean "and". This is only acceptable in handwriting, where many people substitute a plus sign for the ampersand on the understandable grounds that "&" is hard to write.[2] But seriously, if you're on a keyboard, you've got the "&" right there. Why would you use a "+"?

Under-Punctuation[edit | hide]

  • Overuse of commas is bad but to some readers nothing drives them up the wall quite like no commas whatsoever because it sounds like the author is speaking without pause going on and on and on and on giving no hint of when a pause in speech is happening and destroying what logical flow exists in the text making it impossible to follow let alone read out loud. (Note that punctuation's first widespread exposure was by Greek playwrights who used them to indicate pauses in their dialogue. We tropers are not smoking something by claiming the lack of punctuation is the same as a lack of pauses.)
    • The non-use of commas in favour of "or" in a list of things such as shopping or tools or books or animals or foods or games or other things is also annoying.
    • The perfect example of the importance of commas: compare "No, don't stop!" with "No, don't, stop!"
      • I'm pretty sure those should be "No! Don't stop!" and "No! Don't! Stop!" Or maybe "No; don't stop!" and "No; don't. Stop!"
        • Fine then, here's another capsule example: "Let's eat, Grandma!" versus "Let's eat Grandma!"
    • Note that, as with any rule, underuse of commas can still be done right. The Great Gatsby is notorious for its lack of them, and considering that Fitzgerald spent hours choosing individual words, it's unlikely that he left any commas out by accident.
      • Although he did make a few errors in his word choice (referring to the retina as a visible part of the eye, for example), so it's still possible.
    • Sometimes the lack of commas is acceptable in a form of media, often to make the author sound like a Motor Mouth.
    • However adverbials at the start of sentences are often mistaken for conjunctions, leading to the omission of a necessary comma.
  • Another one often found on the Internet is lack of question marks when appropriate. It can be useful for asking questions flatly, but otherwise, why on Earth do people do this.
  • In extreme cases theres No Punctuation Period
  • Poor little-known, seldom-used hyphen. Many people seems to have a deep-seated hatred of this too-discreet punctuation mark—or don't even know it exists. From seven-year-old schoolchildren to seventy-year-old veterans, no-one uses it anymore. And still, it's a quite easy-to-implement means of word-linking for making clearly-readable statements, whether in complex or not-so-complex texts.
    • Perhaps it is an issue with it being difficult to find on a standard keyboard, and people just not being comfortable using a tiny, easy-to-lose, minus symbol instead of a proper hyphen. Compare - with --.
      • Isn't a hyphen (-) for double-barrelled words or names, tmesis-usage (abso-bloody-lutely), and combining-words-to-make-them-link-more-clearly—while an em-dash (--) is the punctuation to create an almost-unrelated subclause in a sentence?
      • Correct. And since a double-barrelled word has one hyphen, a triple-barrelled word naturally has two, and so on. Many writers seem to have an absolute phobia of multiple hyphens, and will write "six year-old children" instead of "six-year-old children", thus changing the meaning completely.
  • People who don't close their parentheses (this is very annoying.
    • And also, people using parentheses inside parentheses. Besides the fact it is considered bad style (you shouldn't use more than one set (otherwise it can get really confusing (by disturbing the flow of the text) to the reader (forcing him to backtrack again and again)) inside a sentence), when having to do so you should use different punctuation (parenthesis first [then square brackets {then curly brackets}]) for the secondary and tertiary interruptions inside the parentheses, as to make it easier to know which phrase is being closed. (Not a hard rule, but it really makes comprehension easier.)
      • Just be sure to nest them properly (the parentheses [unless you want to confuse someone) like computer programmers].
      • Of course, computer programmers are used to using several parens nested inside one another, and sometimes find it annoying when the type of parens switch, because different parens mean different things! Like { methods returning (various things from array_entries[21]);}
      • And God forbid it when someone both uses parentheses within parentheses and doesn't close them. (Honestly, this is the most annoying thing ever. (This is bad enough on places like YouTube (Less forgivable on conversation-based sites like forums.)
      • Most style guides forbid the use of nested parentheses except in the case of symbolic use (such as math equations or programming examples). If you really must break into a parenthetical note with another, internally separated idea (which is almost never strictly necessary—though it can be useful for certain stylistic purposes), the correct method is to either use an em-dash or restructure the whole sentence to avoid the problem entirely.
  • "James while John had had had had had had had had had had had a better effect on the teacher" is a perfect example of what happens when punctuation goes awry.
  • Though the overuse of exclamation marks is well known, it can be just as distracting not to see one where you might reasonably expect to, such as in dialogue when the tag is something like "yelled", "shrieked" or (especially) "exclaimed".
  • One extremely common error is the absence of commas at the end of dialogue. For example; "This looks bad" he said. This is fairly minor, but it can be annoying when it occurs too often.
    • Or "This looks bad." He said. It creates a stop in the sentence which makes the "he said" sound awkward and out of place.

Miscapitalization[edit | hide]

    • In EULAs that may be the desired effect.
    • This can be done for effect, in small amounts, particularly as a text-based LARGE HAM! But by god a long block of text in all capitals is the most evil thing in existence.
    • Some Internet fora will change any post in all-caps so that it capitalises every word. It's a nice compromise since it prevents you having to read all-caps, while still allowing you to deride those attempting to use them.
  • Capitalizing The First Letter Of Every Word Does Not Make You Look Smart, People That Do It. Even If It Took All That Extra Effort.
  • Capitalizing odd Words in the middle of Sentences may have been common in the 18th century, but not any more. Back then, most nouns were capitalized (the same thing is still done in German).
    • Note that capitalizing Random Words actually has an effect on how you can Read them (pausing before the word and emphasizing the capitalized word), as well as the Sense you derive from them (you can actually cause the reader to perceive a different lexical entry, even a different pronunciation: lima, Lima). This makes certain Capital Letters very useful in certain Contexts, but obviously suffers from overuse as much as the next writing Convention.
  • complete lack of capitalization even when needed, on the other hand, is not much better. capitals are integral part of the rules for spelling. there is no excuse for ignoring them. whether you are called e e cummings, jack, peter, or alice, or that your birth language is english, french, german or spanish... it just shows writers who don't care (or don't even know what the shift key is for).
    • ah (but?) eecummings, use-d p!unctu ation: at times albeit—rather. idiosyncratically,,,
    • cummings disregarded punctuation as a stylistic choice to say something about his writing or emphasize where he did use punctuation. he did know what proper punctuation was.
    • intentional lack of capitalization can be used stylistically to make text feel less formal, more laid back or more down to earth, and especially to suggest the writer isn't stuffy or anal. note that punctuation may or may not be altered from formal usage.
    • it can make the writer look anally informal though.
    • and it can be difficult for dyslexics to decipher. do you mean john or john?
  • [[Berserk Button|AnD nEvEr EvEr AlTeRnAtE-cApS mEsSaGeS unLEsS yoU'Re wRItiNg a RANsoM nOTe; iT's ["JuSt HoRrIbLe To ReAd."] SaDlY sOmE pEoPlE aCtUaLlY tYpE lIkE tHiS....
  • This is why correct capitalization is important. Compare:
    • I had to help my uncle Jack off a horse.
    • I had to help my uncle jack off a horse.

Just Plain Wrong[edit | hide]

  • An error whose commonness almost makes itself a trope is using the abbreviation "i.e." to mean "for example." This is wrong, wrong, wrong. "e.g." means "exempli gratia," or "for example." "i.e." means "id est," or "that is." Use i.e. for clarification and e.g. for demonstration. There is some overlap in meaning, but it's important to know the difference.
    • To provide an example of why this is wrong: "Young mammals, i.e.that is kittens, are usually cute" or "Young mammals, e.g.for example kittens, are usually cute"?
    • Better yet, don't use either one. Say "that is" and "for example" if that's what you mean!
      • You're no fun.
  • "Said Bookisms are unnecessary!" a troper complained.
    • Neil Gaiman (paraphrased): "Said" is like the arrow of a word balloon, more a reading aid than an actual word. Use it consistently and it becomes invisible.
    • Incidentally, the same also applies to "asked".
    • That said (sorry), when you have two pages of conversation and every line starts with 'Foo said' or ends with 'Bar said', that's not much better. Although this may be a symptom of wandering onto the Featureless Plane of Disembodied Dialogue.
    • Dialogue tags other than said are effective only if they are used sparingly, in places where they clarify or (occasionally) emphasize the dialogue. Overuse doesn't simply annoy the reader: it diminishes the effect of the words themselves, to the point where they are virtually meaningless. If every character "exclaims" every line, the word will not have the desired effect, or any effect at all, when one actually does "cry out; say something violently or vehemently" (the dictionary definition of the word "exclaim").
    • Tagging the speaker's names before his/her dialogue can solve this transparently: you identify the speaker quickly and it doesn't intrude into the flow of the narration. Movies scripts, video game captions, interactive novels, This Very Wiki,... all of them have been narrating this way without calling your attention to it.

Alice: "Poor sod got cut off the line, never reached his ex again."
Bob: "Saw that coming."
Charlie: "Lovely, so that's why you called her his ex."

  • Due to the fact that it can be seen a lot on this very wiki, it might be worth mentioning that "due to the fact that" is unwieldy and should not be used. You can usually do the same thing with "because (reason)" ("Because I've seen it a lot...") or "due to (reason)", and if not, you should probably rework the sentence anyway.
    • Inversion: Because the word "because" is a subordinating conjunction, many people think you are never supposed to begin a sentence with one, even if that's only when it ends up making it a sentence fragment. This is likely caused by students losing points when they are supposed to answer in complete sentences, but only put "Because (answer)."
      • "Since". "Since" is good, too.
      • The word "because" is replaceable with a semicolon. "I like pancakes because they taste delicious and are a good breakfast" becomes "I like pancakes; they taste delicious and are a good breakfast."
      • The sentences "I like pancakes because they taste delicious and are a good breakfast." and "Because they taste delicious and are a good breakfast, I like pancakes." mean the same thing at a grammatical and semantic level. Which you use is influenced by matters of prosody; the latter emphasises that you like pancakes in particular, while the former puts the emphasis on why.
  • And,besides merely improper use of punctuation,there are also those who seems to think that adding a space after a comma,a period,a semicolon,or any other sign is optional.Not so;the space is an integral part of the punctuation.There may be some debate whether you should put one or two spaces after a full stop,but zero isn't an option.Especially in word-processed text(or HTML),where the space is the only thing telling the computer where it can break the line.Without it,words clusters together and it can result in irregular line feeds,making paragraphs look ugly.And most spellcheckers don't like it,either.
  • Orwhataboutnospacesatall?Wouldn'tthatbequiteannoying,too?
    • Though sometimes this is done intentionally to represent the hastened speech of a Motor Mouth.
    • There's a reason spaces were invented in the first place. The oldest manuscripts have no spaces at all, and trying to make sense of them is a big job.
  • Some languages, such as Swedish, have a lot of compound words. This means that putting spaces where spaces should not be, or removing spaces that should be there, can have a large impact on the meaning (every day vs the days of the workweek, something being brown-haired vs something being brown and hairy, etc.). It would be Ambiguous Syntax, except the syntax is perfectly clear.
    • Phonetic Japanese has no spaces, which can be frustrating. Actually, Japanese period has no spaces, but vertically written ideograms don't need them much. Unfortunately, you don't see Japanese written vertically in pure ideograms as often as you did in previous centuries. Of course, the fact that they've standardized kanji more than makes up for that, but it's still a headache if you're not used to having to work out where words end.
    • Reading a passage rendered mostly in kana is difficult even for a native speaker (well, reader). When written in kanji, however, it's much easier to determine where one word ends and another starts.
  • "When writing dialogue," Bob explained, "you should always add a paragraph break when a new person talks." Alice shook her head. "Why's that?" she asked. "Because if you don't, it becomes very difficult to tell who's talking at what time," Bob yelled.
    • As a corollary, when you paragraph-break a monologue, you always omit the end-paragraph quotation marks for all but the last paragraph of the monologue; doing so lets the readers know the paragraphs are still being spoken by the person doing the monologue, and not by anyone else, or is a non-speaking paragraph.
    • "As a second corollary, remember that dialogue tags are never capitalized." Said Bob. "Do you mean that I should keep them lower case even when I end a sentence with a question mark?" Asked Alice. "Yes." Said Bob. "You should also keep in mind that if the sentence would normally end with a period, the period should be replaced with a comma-- but only if the period comes before the dialogue tag,"
    • "Fourth of all," continued Bob, "the speaker and his/her actions belong in the same paragraph." "Why is that, Bob?" asked Alice. "Because otherwise, the readers could get confused and mistake who is speaking." Alice persisted. "But shouldn't quotes begin a paragraph?" Bob shook his head. "Not necessarily." Alice shrugged.
    • As mentioned above, it's possible to break rules if you really know what you're doing. The new-paragraph-for-new-speaker rule is one of the ones you see broken most frequently: one character says something, and the description of other characters' reaction include dialogue. Because a paragraph break would kill the flow, the rule is discarded and one kind of readability trumps another.
  • And in a similar vein, there's the Block Paragraph Of Doom, where the writer fails to break up the story into paragraphs at all. Not bad in a drabble, but tedious to the point of tl;dr in a multi-chapter fic.
    • Conversely, The Sun and the other tabloids often seem to think it's obligatory to start a new paragraph with each sentence. Wrong. Start a new paragraph when there is a new thought; the first sentence states the theme of the paragraph, and subsequent sentences clarify it.
      • Many would dispute whether the typical tabloid article involves any thought - other than "I hate x" - at all.
  • Very few people seem to get cannot vs. can not right, and write can not where it should be cannot. Even raging Grammar Nazis routinely get this one wrong. With cannot, negation has scope over the modal ("not possible to X"); in the case of can not, conversely, the modal has scope over negation ("possible to not X"). John cannot go to school means that John lacks the ability to go to school; John can not go to school means that he has the option not to go to school.
    • Not necessarily the option. This brings us to the oft-encountered mistake of people confusing may and can. No, it's not just "polite" to use "May I?" instead of "Can I?"; "May I?" is actually the more logical choice because can refers to one's ability to do something, whereas may refers to permission.
      • If people are really bugged by this, try thinking of it as an abbreviation: "Can I do X?" is a short version of "Can I do X without you getting mad at me?"
      • This is actually a myth, perpetuated by generations of schoolteachers. "Can" in this context has been correct since the 19th century except in formal writing.
        • After all, isn't "may" just a word denoting possibility, just like "can"? "I may not be able to make it tonight."
    • Back to the original: a potential workaround is to exploit the beloved but underused hyphen. "John cannot run" and "John can not-run" clearly mean two different things, and the hyphen links the negation to the thing it negates. However, this is less intuitive and should only be used if the awkward construction is, you know, all necessary-ish.
  • One increasingly common error on the Internet is typing a semicolon instead of a colon. For a while it seemed like a misconception about where semicolons belong (it was especially common in cases where a comma or dash would have worked as well), but now it's starting to crop up between titles and subtitles (for example "Breakin' 2; Oddly-Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo"), so it's hard to tell if this is a grammatical error or people's shift keys failing at inopportune times.
  • A dash and a hyphen are not the same thing—way too many people use single hyphens for dashes-without even any spaces around them-and create confusion for people who rightly attempt to read the hyphenated words as conjoined words. Doubling a hyphen, enclosing it in spaces, or both, is enough to serve as a substitute dash if you don't know how to create the real thing, although of course in publication (as well as formal papers) real dashes are expected, so it's best to learn how. (For the record, double hyphens now auto-convert to dashes on this Wiki, so you don't have to muck about with HTML character codes or memorize the keyboard code to type the real thing.)
  • If you restructure your sentence so that you don't end it with a preposition... then make sure you don't double up. I don't know for what reason people do this for.
    • Perhaps the most common example of this is correcting for the old who vs whom issue, and then duplicating the preposition. Somebody thinks they shouldn't say "Who are we here for?" and "corrects" it into "For whom are we here for?"
    • Better yet, forget about the old bugaboo about not ending sentences with prepositions. It's a rule that was made up by people who were ignorant of the way English grammar actually works.
      • Winston Churchill was once told he couldn't end a sentence with a preposition. His response? "That is the sort of arrant pedantry up with which I will not put."
  • Quotation marks vary between regional versions of English. In American English, punctuation always goes inside of the quotes, unless doing so would change the meaning of the quote, or if it's a colon or semicolon. It doesn't matter if you are using single or double quotes as appropriate for your style standards; these same rules apply.
    • And in British English, punctuation goes inside the quotes if and only if it's part of what is being quoted. For instance, "John wrote the word 'cat', and then crossed it out." The comma isn't part of the word 'cat', so it goes outside.
    • Exceptions where Americans deliberately employ the "British" usage do exist. It's most common when discussing computers—where, for instance, "rm -r *." is a totally different command from "rm -r *".
  • "it's" versus "its". The former is the contraction of "it is" (or "it has"), the latter is the neuter possessive. A good rule of thumb is, if the words "it is" don't fit in the sentence, use "its". For example, "The dog scratched it's balls" would be wrong. It just looks completely nonsensical, unless it's supposed to be a run-on sentence and the dog's name is "Balls."
    • Related, "who's" versus "whose". The former, of course, means "who is/has", the latter indicates possession. Consider: A car is being advertised for sale. You might ask, "Whose car is being sold?" or, "Who's the current owner of the car?"
  • Speaking of contractions, some people don seem to realize just how important finishing certain contractions are. Some people can seem to finish contractions ending in "'t", which can become confusing when certain words come up. In some cases, the context can clarify the usage, but other times it can without causing confusion.[3]
  • Then there are those who overuse "then" to connect a sequence of events. Then someone reads the work and stumbles over the verbal tic. Then the author wonders how he can avoid overusing "and" or "but" instead. Then the reader explains that "then" usually goes after the subject of the clause, and is not a conjunction. Then the writer has to start all over.
    • Speaking of "then", there's the then versus than issue. "Then" is used to sequence events as described above, "than" is used to denote the use of one option over another. For example, "I'd rather go to the movies than go to the park," means that the speaker prefers the option of going to the movies over the option of going to the park, while "I'd rather go to the movies then to the park," means that the speaker prefers to go to the movies and go to the park afterwards.
  • It's possible to replace parentheses, if you really must, with other punctuation marks. Emdashes work—it's one of their alternative uses—as do commas. However, if you are doing this, please—for the love of god) don't switch from one to the other halfway through.

Example's from specific media[edit | hide]

Comics[edit | hide]

  • A mildly famous scene from Preacher (Comic Book): "Improper use of inverted commas, Hoover! Improper use of inverted commas!!"
  • In The Boys (also by Garth Ennis), Hughie reads a comic book out loud: "an' he's goin'... I hope this hurts --in bold-- every bit as much --in bold-- as what you did --in bold-- to that boy --in bold... Why do they do that anyway? It's really annoyin' trynna read it, it makes it like stop-start, stop-start, stop-start, you know?"
  • Deadpool lampshaded his own overuse of the ellipsis by announcing he was "talking like...Shatner".
  • Mocked in this Dilbert comic.
  • As a general rule, Silver Age Marvel comics would end every single sentence with an exclamation point! Justified a bit, as Stan Lee actually talks like that! Excelsior!
    • Same thing about movie / TV series parodies in Mad Magazine.
    • This might be because full stops didn't end up getting printed out very well. Later on, full stops would unnecessarily replace exclamation marks, losing some dramatic effect along the way.
  • As pointed out above in the capitalization section, Delirium of the Sandman comics frequently misuses capital letters. She also tends to go without commas and periods sometimes when she's rambling. Justified somewhat in that she's the Anthropomorphic Personification of crazy.
  • The Mad Hatter from Batman as written by Jeph Loeb speaks in aLterNATinG cAPs.
  • Krazy Kat. Along with some minor Xtreme Kool Letterz, many nouns would end up in quotation marks. This is not limited to Krazy's Funetik Aksent.
  • Speech Bubbles in general tend to be printed in ALL CAPS. The Ultimates specifically didn't do that.

Fan Works[edit | hide]

  • The Crowning Moment of Funny in the Harry Potter fanfic My Immortal: "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING YOU MOTHERFUKERS!" It was................................. Dumbledore!
  • While it runs across the board in this author's work, comma splicing is taken to the extremes in this piece.
  • Marie Birch, infamous figure in Red Dwarf internet fandom from the '90s. Known for putting, unnecessary commas, in all her fan fictions, like this, not to mention, that her fan fictions, were awful, to begin with.
  • Many MANY fanfics posted on Quizilla have examples of one or more items described above, due to the fact that their site's terms of services doesn't punish submitters for not editing their works before submitting them. Do this on Fanfiction.net, and you run the risk of having it deleted.
    • For clarification, bad use of the English language running the risk of deletion =/= the work in question actually being deleted.
  • If you are writing a Yiff fic in which a lutrine character claims that a certain part of his anatomy is "larger than most otters'", please, PLEASE remember the apostrophe.
    • In a similar but not identical manner, I dare you to go and forget the capitalization in the sentence "I had to help my Uncle Jack off a horse." Come on, try it.
  • After Inception came out, a debate was started on the livejournal comm on which would make grammatical sense: Eames' Totem? Or Eames's Totem? 2 page of fierce debate later, and the conclusion seems to be... both.
  • If you're writing a Pokémon fic, make sure to put the names of Pokémon in caps. Otherwise half of the Pokémon-fic-reading population will stop in their tracks when reading over a sentence like "The pikachu fell on the ground, spiral-eyed". The other half, on the other hand, have it the opposite way.
  • The Girl Who Lived has many a run-on sentence. This is not missed by the sporkers.
  • Hogwarts Exposed is not kind to punctuation in general and semicolons in particular. Again, the sporkers have noticed. And like The Girl Who Lived, it also has more than its fair share of run-on sentences.
  • This Harry Potter fic. The second chapter alone is only five pages long on word processor, yet it has 357 commas.

Films[edit | hide]

  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. The title is a question, but there is no question mark. Supposedly it wasn't included because question marks are considered "bad luck" in the film industry. Do they really think all of the annoyed letters they're going to get when they don't include a question mark will be worth it?
    • That would seem to imply that the title is an answer, not a question. That is, 'the man "who framed Roger Rabbit".'
  • Two Weeks Notice. It looks much better as the correct Two Weeks' Notice.
  • Torgo from Manos: The Hands of Fate emphasizes strange syllables. When fans quote him, they represent it with alternating caps.
  • Averted in Bridget Jones's Diary. That apostrophe s means that the second word is pronounced "jone-ziz", but it is often misread as "Jones" (or incorrectly written as Jones' ) .
  • Kiss Kiss Bang Bang features a grammar joke with a call back. First Harmony explains to Harry the difference between "feeling bad" and "feeling badly." Later on Harry tries to belittle "Gay" Perry using the same rule, but Perry's usage is correct, as he instantly points out:

"Gay" Perry: What, fuckhead? Who taught you grammar? Badly's an adverb. Get out. Vanish.

Jokes[edit | hide]

  • There's a famous joke about a misplaced comma in a nature brochure on panda bears. Instead of "Eats shoots and leaves" (meaning what pandas consume for food) it reads, "Eats, shoots and leaves," meaning that it eats, then uses a gun and leaves. This inspired the title of Lynne Truss' famous book.
    • Whoever composed that pamphlet really should have used a colon instead of a comma (and even that would have been unnecessary).
  • One British comedy show from the mid-to-late 20th century had a sketch where an orator added a comma to "What is this thing called love?", resulting in the question "What is this thing called, love?"
  • A relatively recent joke about the importance of the Oxford Comma (the one at the end of a list of items), where leaving it out changes the meaning of an award-acceptance speech from a Scientologist: "I'd like to thank my parents, God and L. Ron Hubbard."

Literature[edit | hide]

  • The Twilight Saga series by Stephenie Meyer contains a copious amount of errors: Run-on sentences, poor punctuation and comma abuse, lack of capitalization, and fragments but a few examples.
  • Harry Harrison does comma splices, these are annoying. Supposedly, they're deliberate. He writes the book, then later goes through removing extra words and pauses in actiony parts in order to make it sound fast. Periods take longer than commas. Ironically, the incorrect punctuation is just going to slow most people down. The correct way to punctuate those sentences would be with a semicolon.
  • José Saramago is particularly guilty of this, with paragraphs that sometimes extend over 5 pages. He also sometimes uses no punctuation marks other than commas and periods, and doesn't explicitly indicate which character is speaking.
    • Saramago's "style" of punctuation is quite frequently mocked in his home country of Portugal. A high school Portuguese textbook featured a section on punctuation and an exercise featuring an excerpt of Saramago with the goal being to analyze its use. The kicker was that the author included a note on the margin reading "Please note that Saramago only uses punctuation in this manner for stylistic purposes and only in sections featuring dialog. In fact, outside of said sections, Saramago is actually more rigorous with punctuation than most Portuguese authors."
  • In Maskerade, a character's growing madness is shown by his insistence on using multiple exclamation points. As is writing out an Evil Laugh.
    • Also in Reaper Man: "Five exclamation marks, the sure sign of an insane mind."
    • Then there's Terry Pratchett's exten'sion (in Going Po'stal) of the ca'se of the greengrocer's apo'strophe, where one character's dialogue alway's had an apos'trophe next to each S. It i's mos't amu'sing.
    • And the origin of this trope's name: Captain Carrot, who like all good dwarfs writes home to the old mine on a regular basis—he also treats punctuation rather like a game of pin the tail on the donkey. And when swearing in new recruits to the Watch, he dictates the oath precisely down to the punctuation, leading to phrases such as "I swear by open bracket insert recruit's deity of choice here close bracket" (the less bright recruits then follow suit).
      • It isn't necessarily a mistake Carrot's part. Reading the oath literally means that the recruits don't have to swear allegiance to the monarch, which in this case everyone knows is Carrot. He says that he doesn't want people to obey him because he is "... good at being obeyed", but because it is the law.
    • In Night Watch, Vimes gives the same oath when he joins the Watch after he accidentally travels into the past, meaning that, although odd, that is the way that all watchmen are sworn in.
      • It's not meant to be. Carrot is literal-minded, and Vimes was showing off that he knew the oath so well he could do it with all the correct punctuation as well.
    • Of Course, There Is Also The Text Gag Of Golems Talking Like So, Likely Meant To Imply That They Are Very Loud And Demand Attention.
      • Or Perhaps That They Speak Like Robots.
      • That's the visual effect for Each Word Thudding Into Place Like A Stone Block.
  • James Joyce's Ulysses has a final chapter with only two full stops. Also, Joyce refused to capitalise religious words (jew, christian, jesuit) and he hated quotation marks, using a dash to indicate a line of dialogue.
    • In the Thursday Next series, the lack of punctuation is explained. They were stolen.
  • "Certain" Dragonlance writers seem to be deathly afraid of conjunctions and skip right to the comma.
  • Lampooning this is how Lynne Truss made her name.
  • Justified in Flowers for Algernon, in which the narrator's use of punctuation improves and then declines in tandem with his augmented intellect.

"Today, I learned, the comma, this a comma (,) a period, with a tail, Miss Kinnian, says its important, because, it makes writing, better, she said, somebody, could lose, a lot of money, if a comma, isnt, in the, right place, I dont have, any money, and I dont see, how a comma, keeps you, from losing it,"

    • In Flowers for Algernon, Charlie's two entries after Alice teaches him punctuation are overflowing with it. The next one contains a breakthrough as he's finally using punctuation properly.
  • There's a particularly disconcerting example of run-on sentences in the final book in A Series of Unfortunate Events, being well over two hundred words about the metaphor "in the dark", ballerinas, digging and a locked cabinet.
  • The Voynich Manuscript has no discernible forms of punctuation; there are only spaces.
    • Mind that this is a feature of many medieval texts, since punctuation really was pretty much optional up until the 18th century. On the other hand, it might also mean that the Voynich script is really just that much gobbledygook, as its authenticity is still disputed.
  • In Alice in Wonderland and other works of Lewis Carroll, "ca'n't", "sha'n't" and "wo'n't" have two apostrophes. He insisted that "the popular usage is wrong".
    • He's got a point. Technically, 'shall not' -> 'shan't' should have an apostrophe to denote the missing LL as well as the missing O. Should, but doesn't.
    • On the one hand, he could justify "ca[n]n[o]t" and "sha[ll]n[o]t", but not his attempt on "will not", since the colloquialism features a contraction with a phoneme change rather than just the omission of certain sounds.
      • "Can't", however, works as "can[no]t."
  • Similarly H.P. Lovecraft would use archaic spellings and terms intentionally to give a time-spanning feel to his stories. He would also use diacritic marks such as in diäphenous or preëminent (which we still see today, though rarely, in words like naïve).
    • Diacritics like this are used to indicate that the two vowels are pronounced as separate syllables instead of a single diphthong (diaeresis). These days the only people who use them are those who believe grammar is deadly Serious Business (e.g. The New Yorker's style sheet).
    • Lovecraft's exotic vocabulary is parodied in Munchkin Cthulhu with monster enhancers such as Rugose or Mephitic. Illustrations show monsters consulting a dictionary.
  • Exclamation points within the actual narration do not make a story more interesting, Darren Shan! They serve only to irritate readers and make the story sound like it's being told by an over-excited little kid!
  • Timothy Dexter's epoch-making work, A Pickle for the Knowing Ones was originally published with no punctuation whatsoever. Some readers complained that this made the book hard to read. Dexter solved the problem by adding an extra page full of commas, full stops and semi-colons and inviting his readers to "peper and solt" the book to their own tastes.
  • Robert A. Heinlein used a two-period ellipsis .. in Time Enough for Love. I've never .. quite .. figured out why (remember this is the writer who had his character saying "An U.F.O.", and who figured that if "handkerchief" had a silent D in it, then the short form should be "handky").
  • Gotz and Meyer by David Albahari uses no paragraph breaks, apparently to indicate the narrator's mental breakdown.
  • Toyed with in Vinge's novel "Rainbows End", which may or may not be missing an apostrophe depending on your political views.
  • The Israeli writer Hanny Nachmias always places her periods after the quotation marks, or, to be exact, after ALL the quotation marks. Even if there already is a question or exclamation mark inside the quote. She also abuses colons and dashes left and right. The bad grammar and slang are at least partially justified because the book is written from the point of view of a dumb teenage blonde.
  • The Shelters of Stone, the fifth book in Jean M. Auel's Earth's Children series, is filled with comma splices.
  • James Jones, best known for his war trilogy (From Here To Eternity, The Thin Red Line, Whistle) also wrote Some Came Running, a thinly veiled semi-autobiographical novel about his backwater hometown of Robinson, Illinois. Whereas the war books feature a terse, grammatically correct style (rather like most military communication), in Running he used intentional misspellings and punctuation errors, to underscore the rural nature of his subject.
  • In The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Charlie, when learning how to punctuate scatters punctuation all over that day's letter. The next day he apologizes.
  • John Norman, he of the Gor series of novels, is quite content to overutilize the comma; nay, even more, the semicolon; rather than using periods to separate his thoughts he will use the semicolon; it is annoying; you start to count the number of semicolons in a paragraph; often his page long paragraphs will be only one or two sentences long; he will use semicolons; this is especially true of his descriptive paragraphs.
  • From a literary criticism by John Fletcher of The Stranger:

"and at best a legitimate action, on Meursault's part, in self-defence, rather than, as the prosecution allege at Meursault's trial, murder in the first degree."

Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • William Shatner provides a verbal version of this trope in Star Trek: The Original Series.
  • Stargate SG-1 In-Universe example: Jack O'Neill interrupts his own torture to point out a bad guy's grammatical error: "You ended that sentence with a preposition! Bastard!"
    • As pointed out in the earlier section, this is one of the zombie rules of grammar. It's dead, but it just refuses to lie down. Of course, it's hardly out of character for O'Neill to do exactly this sort of thing; he may even have known it was a "zombie" rule, but who cares as long as you get the other guy confused or angry?
  • Come along Pond. It makes it sound like a title or cryptic code.

Music[edit | hide]

  • Done intentionally by Motley Crue. Because umlauts/diaereses are the möst metäl type of pünctüätiön.
    • Parodied in the name of fictional band, Spın̈al Tap, where the diaeresis appears over the n; a construct appearing in only a handful of very obscure languages. Note also the dotless ı.
  • Soraya, a Spanish pop singer, released an (extremely successful in Spain) album called Ochenta's (an album of Eighties covers. Convenient since Ochentas means Eighties). The greengrocer's apostrophe is especially worrisome when you realise that standard Spanish has no apostrophes. (In "Spanglish," then, the title implies that the album contains only songs from the year 1980 - which, ironically, many pop-culture historians tend to lump in with The Seventies.)
    • Hear'Say, a thankfully short-lived British manufactured pop group, used the apostrophe decoratively by carelessly shoving it into the middle of an existing word (that had no pronunciation ambiguities to clarify) to form their band's name. Don't people go to Hell for such flagrant punctuation abuse?
  • The back covers of REM's Fables of the Reconstruction and The Stone Roses' Turns Into Stone had no apostrophes. In the former case the songs were actually called "Feeling Gravitys Pull" and all that, but the latter's fans were confused by tracks like "Fool's Gold" or "Something's Burning" lacking apostrophes.
    • See? Is it "Fool's Gold" or "Fools' Gold"? Either of which could have multiple, different meanings.
    • And of course there's also REM's Lifes Rich Pageant.
  • The latest interview from Steve Perry, formerly of Journey. Dear GODS, cruelty to the common ellipse, lack of any punctuation, and the hideous color scheme make this one un-readable interview.
  • Dolly Parton has a song called "Everything's Beautiful (In It's Own Way)".
  • Taylor Swift has a habit of hiding Secret messages within the Pages of her liner notEs. every set of song lyrics lAcKs capitalizatioN save for a set of letters that spell out a phrase relating to the sOng somehoW.

New Media[edit | hide]

  • When simple apostrophes or quote marks are replaced by an unreadable character sequence, due to encoding problems. There are a million different versions of this, and it's particularly bad on wikis due to the large number of different pieces of software (everyone's browser).
    • To wit, an earlier version of this very entry said "probably because of a ?½¶feature?½¶ of the other troper?¤©æ#8482;s browser.", and it was later mangled twice (once to replace all the symbols with �, the next to replace each of those with the sequence �).
    • The Hacker Jargon File, for another example, has a default encoding which causes punctuation signs and non-breaking spaces to become a � sign (for those of you who can't see it, that's the Unicode "REPLACEMENT CHARACTER" and looks like a question mark inside a black diamond).
  • One of the crackpots who is responsible for dozens of hoaxes when it comes to Lost spoilers is named ThEmIsFiTiShErE. What's worse is that, in his posts, he puts certain, random, often unimportant words in all-caps, making the reader just want to stab him in the face after a while. He also can't spell for crap.

"It has BEEN a while SINCE my last post AS ABC cut all POWER to my house to STOP me losigating!! BUT now I have PURCHASED 27 Hamsters THAT all run around in a GIANT ball to POWSER my COmputer!!"

  • Some older Cracked.com articles are missing the "s" after possessive apostrophes. This is due to a technical glitch rather than poor writing, but it still makes some of the site' articles hard to read.
  • A regular problem with the features on Cake Wrecks, which do not go un-mocked.
  • John Watson's blog and Sherlock's website receive comments by a capitalisation rebel:

theimprobableone: capital letters are just one of society's conventions that I choose to ignore. you've just been programmed to be one of society. you're a sheep.

  • Once on the GameFAQs television message board, someone made a topic asking "are there only fools and horses on american tv?". There was a lot of confusion and bafflement that someone would believe this before it was finally pointed out that Only Fools and Horses is the name of a television show.

Print Media[edit | hide]

  • The Women's Weekly magazines at checkout lines are apparently compelled by law to end every internal headline, front-page teaser, caption, and generally any sentence or clause outside of an article with either a question mark or an exclamation point. Feeling fat? Lose 200 pounds with this Ancient Chinese secret! While you stuff your obese offspring with these hideously ugly confections of pure sugar! Made from ingredients found in your local discount rack! Depressed? Buy a new purse! Like the one worn by this famous actress! Emphasis of everything actually equals emphasis of nothing? That's not what Oprah says!
  • The children's book publisher Troll does the same thing in the newsletter that says what new books it's publishing. This is typically coupled with a rather hammy style of blurb that's apparently intended to make the reader think all their books are pulse-pounders, but more often comes off as Narm.

Theatre[edit | hide]

  • For a while at least, George Bernard Shaw abandoned the use of apostrophes in most contractions—even writing "he'll" without the apostrophe—though he dropped that practice later:
I have written aint, dont, havnt, shant, shouldnt, and wont for twenty years with perfect impunity, using the apostrophe only where its omission would suggest another word: for example, hell for he'll. There is not the faintest reason for persisting in the ugly and silly trick of peppering pages with these uncouth bacilli.
—Letter to The Author, April 1902
  • The Dutch comedian Herman Finkers plays with this in his linguistic fairytale Het Spreukjesbos

Hansel said "Gretel, shall I wear my pretty dress today?"
"Hansel," said Gretel, "shall I wear my pretty dress today?"

    • Acutally, Herman Finkers is a master of wordplay. The full joke requires some explanation. In the Netherlands, Hansel and Gretel are called Hans en Grietje. After the bit described above Hans responds with: Don't be so weird, Grietje Titulaer. Now, this might not be weird, but around the time this show ran, there was a well known Dutch public figure going by the name Chriet Titulaer. Chriet is a male name. To top it off: Chriet and Griet are pronounched exactly the same. He even mentions that Hans and Grietje are the Titulaer brothers. And this is just the very start of the "Spreukjesbos" segment.

Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness. While punctuation errors are the least of its problems, whoever was in charge of the game's font apparently considered certain punctuation marks such as apostrophes far too exotic, and therefore they were replaced with a square symbol.
    • Sounds like the inappropriate use of a title font, many of which are lacking non-alphanumeric symbols except those someone bothered to create.
  • There are not one, but two greengrocers' apostrophes in the dialogue near the end of the otherwise well-written Okami.
  • The Playstation game Xenogears was quite "fond" of using "quotes" placed around various "words."
  • The subtitles of Limbo of the Lost are wrong. All of them.
  • Shodan from System Shock speaks in alternating caps.
  • The subtitles during the final cinematic of StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty suffer from a severe lack of commas.
  • The ZX Spectrum game Merlock the Mede: The Ashes of Alucard is inclined to use comma splices, or omit punctuation altogether.

You are in the cellar of the rectory it is dark and you feel a bit cold you can here movement but cannot see anything moving.

  • Guitar Hero: Smash Hits would be guilty of using quotation marks for emphasis, if they had actually used quotation marks rather than the offending apostrophes.

Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • Bob the Angry Flower rants against misuse of apostrophes in this comic.
  • Penny Arcade sometimes has an animated period reading posts from gaming forums and chiding the writers for their lack of capitalization and other grammatical errors.
  • Butch does not appreciate incorrect punctuation.
  • Freefall uses extra punctuation in the middle of sentences to indicate pauses in the speech of a robot running at a lower clock speed than usual.
  • Most of the speaking cast in Homestuck commit minor grammatical sins when typing to each-other via the Pesterchum IM service, yet speak in a similar manner in actual face-to-face dialogue. This is for Painting the Fourth Wall and in the case of the protagonists doesn't hurt the writing. The dialogues involving the trolls, however, tend to be a little harder to read.
    • Rose seems to be the only character in Homestuck who does use proper syntax, though her text has other issues. The other three kids neglect capitalization (and, in Dave's case, punctuation) and the trolls each have their own typing quirks, from aLtErNaTiNg cApS to 133t. Since almost all the text is in the form of IM conversations, this can be forgiven. Its subcomic Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff, on the other hand, pretty much has random syntax, which the author likens to a "window into a defective mind". It especially seems to.......................ABUSER ellipses and CARPS LOCK
    • The characters in the comic often make fun of each other's accents, or refer to "The One [Who] Speaks With All The Extra Vees And Doubleyous".
      • May actually be justified, given that is was revealed recently that talking was a perk for reaching God Tier. The grammar sins are literally their voice.
  • Rock Paper Cynic has one of the most awesome examples ever here.

Web Original[edit | hide]

Marcus: They call it Topri, strange name, I know, however, it’s not like they actually seem to care for that, it is, after all, off the highway, you know, out of the way, away from civilization, after all, looking into the town’s history, they don’t tend to get too many visitors to the town, then again, they don’t have much, a small little national park of some sort, a town hall, movie theatre, believe it or not, gas station, along with the local bar, other than that, just houses doted around the town as you can see here."

Eastern Animation[edit | hide]

  • The old Soviet-era cartoon The Land of Skipped Homeworks (Страна не? ыученных уроко?) had one phrase that later became the direct illustration of this trope. The protagonist, Victor Perestukkin, a labrake kid and his cat (talking cat during his travels) Kuzya had to pass various obstacles... straightly based on the homework he skipped, as the title implies. The mentioned illustration comes in the point where the Master Verb gives him a final task: finish writing his death order by putting only one comma in the correct sentence: Execute not pardon.

Real Life[edit | hide]

  • The minefield of grammatical rules, exceptions and linguistic gray areas is the main reason why most major publications adopt or create an official style guide for its writers.
  • This is far, far, far too common in Dutch, where the apostrophe denotes a short grapheme corresponding to a long vowel in plurals, mostly in originally foreign words. (Example: "Auto" means "car". "Auto's" means "cars", because "Autos" would be pronounced wrong, and "Autoos" goes against all grammar rules.) The apostrophe stands for a sound that's included in speech, but left out in written language. It... tends to go wrong.
    • The same thing has been done to substitute for graves, acutes, and macrons. Once again, this convention tends to go wrong. Especially when it's impossible to tell if a word is supposed to be possessive, contracted, or have an accent on a vowel....
    • Over-punctuation can occur in Dutch as well: very few people are aware that the apostrophe between a word and an S, like in English, can be omitted entirely in Dutch. In fact, not even the Microsoft Word grammar control knows about it, which is probably one of the reasons it's so little known: the Dutch tend to rely on the Word grammar and spelling control completely because of how difficult the Dutch language is.
    • Use of the apostrophe after the vowel in place of an acute or grave accent is widespread in Italian, even on signs in Italy itself. Even worse is that the word processors used to write such mistakes will often auto-correct the apostrophe to an accent, but will leave it hanging over empty space instead of moving it above the vowel.
  • This can also happen when people write English according to the grammatical rules of their native language. German-speakers writing English tend to insert commas in places, that do not require a comma in English but would require a comma in German.
    • Germanophones writing in English also often have trouble not putting Capitalization on every noun, like they are used to in their birth language. Anglophones tend to overcapitalize when writing in French, too (but then, the full capitalization rules are tricky even for French natives).
    • Likewise, the punctuation rules for the three languages are different. A colon, question mark or semi-colon is preceded by a space "example : this", German and French use commas less frequently than English. Decimals are marked with a comma, which is used in English as a separator "1,234" is just less than one and a quarter in French and just less than a thousand and a quarter in English. Dialogue in French texts is marked with «», then a dash for any speech running on. German uses „“ or »« (yes, the inverse of the French) and is more prone to using free indirect speech than English. Trilinguals despair.
      • Quebecois Francophones follow English rules for commas and decimals within numbers. Conversely, South African Anglophones use the German/French/Dutch ones.
    • On a related note, Spanish (or at least the Mexican dialect thereof) uses dashes to indicate the beginning and end of dialogue (-like this -for example).
      • International Spanish rules set the use of a long dash (—) for starting a dialogue, with additional long dashes to add an explanation:
      • —It would be like this —said this troper—, exactly like this.
  • The Apple website, much like the previous entry on this very page, has a tendency to mistake the word too (an adverb) as something that constantly calls for a comma preceding it. While it is possible to precede a 'too' with a comma, it is the editorial phrase of which they form a part that calls for the comma, not the word too... ever.
    • eg. "Tias, too drunk to walk, decided to fly home." Here the too forms part of a tangent in the sentence, and hence the comma is appropriate.
    • eg. "Tias, contrary to popular belief, can fly, too." Here the too is an integral part of the grammar of the sentence: it tells the reader something about how the ability to fly, and hence it should not be separated from the verb by its own comma.
    • The WeatherBug Site Tries To Add Some Sanity By Changing The Entire Message To Title-Case... But Keeps The Ellipses... And Humorously... Always Renders The Word "IN" IN All Caps... Assuming It To Be Short For "Indiana".
  • When the German subjects of Gertrude, wife of Kind Andrew of Hungary took control of the kingdom in the king's absence, a group of conspirators decided to take down the queen, and asked the clergy for support. The archbishop, not wanting to choose sides, answered with a letter but deliberately left out all the commas, leaving room for two possible but entirely contradicting interpretations:

You should not be afraid to murder the queen. It will be a good thing. If everybody agrees to it, I do not object.
You should not murder the queen. To be afraid will be a good thing. If everybody agrees to it, I do not: I object.

    • Leaving the error unfixed to point it out: as mentioned earlier, sometimes people forget to close their parentheticals. Even worse, sometimes people replace their parentheses with commas and then forget to close them. That happened; there should be a comma after "Kind Andrew of Hungary" up there.
  • Some people on the internet tend to remove comments to their work with horrible grammar thus making the web a better place.

Nope;no Grammer Nazi's any wherein site....

  1. Or four at the end of a sentence, to be overly technical
  2. Understandable, but ultimately misguided; if you can write the numeral 8 or the infinity sign (∞) without any trouble, then you can write an ampersand. And the ampersand also has a notable advantage over the plus sign: you can write it in one fluid motion, and don't need to lift your pen from the paper while writing it.
  3. Speaking of contractions, some people don't seem to realize just how important finishing certain contractions are. Some people can't seem to finish contractions ending in "'t", which can become confusing when certain words come up. In some cases, the context can clarify the usage, but other times it can't without causing confusion.