Saturday, April 30, 2016

Campaign for Real Commas

This past weekend at my weekly coffee klatch* we had a discussion about punctuation. We were editing one of my posts and discussing my incorrect usage of a number of punctuation marks most notably the ellipsis. However, there was an addendum to this editing saying that I actually use the comma correctly most of the time. This was probably brought up to keep me from hanging myself with coffee stirrers after the editing was finished. This aside grew into a rather lively conversation about comma usage and how the comma must be both the most misused and overused punctuation mark in modern times.

I personally spend a lot of time making sure that my comma usage is as correct as possible. I tend to a natural overuse of commas and if I don’t pay attention they will get out of hand. I have no excuse for this as I had been educated before digital grammar checkers became widely available. I believe that modern public education is not given the time required to properly teach grammar to the degree necessary to alleviate the butchering of both the English language in general and the comma in particular. That is a topic for another post though.

This post is about a movement we are starting. This movement is the Campaign for Real Commas or CRC and that is no error. (For the 3 people in the world who got that pun I hope you are groaning loudly.) We believe in the Oxford Comma, the death of the comma splice, and abolishing the over-use of Commas in general. It is time for the overworked and misunderstood comma to be saved from becoming completely useless. To give meaning back to the semicolon and to allow conjunctions to function correctly again!

Today we begin the Million Comma March.*** We must go forth to every village and hamlet. To every school; public, private, and charter. We must demand that comma usage be extolled from every rooftop, in every classroom, and even on the internet. Join us in our march. Be aware of the proper usage of commas ** and make every effort to follow the simple rules.

Previously there was no voice for commas, no lobby, no concern. That all ends today. We must take back our punctuation. We must take back our language. The Million Comma March begins today. Join us or get trampled by millions of commas. There is every expectation that we can have huge improvements in comma usage by National Punctuation Day (September 24th) so let's get to it!

*Coffee Klatch - A casual gathering for coffee and conversation. (

** How to Use Commas: A Summary – Grammar Girl

*** T-Shirts available at Society6 

Artwork by Daniel J. Hogan -

1 comment:

  1. This, is a great! post, John, and I will, be sharing it... to... make sure that the, message, the importance of, proper, comma, usage is, finally... FINALLY, given the credit, that it is due to it...