Comma Splice - Prescriptive View

Prescriptive View

Comma splices are condemned in The Elements of Style, a popular American English style guide by E.B. White and William Strunk, Jr.

According to Joanne Buckley, comma splices often arise when writers use conjunctive adverbs to separate two independent clauses instead of using a coordinating conjunction. A coordinating conjunction is one of the seven words: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so. A conjunctive adverb is a word like furthermore, however, or moreover. A conjunctive adverb and a comma (or a conjunctive adverb between two commas) is not strong enough to separate two independent clauses and creates a comma splice. For example, "There is no admission fee, however you will be responsible for any food you order," contains a comma splice with a conjunctive adverb. Only semicolons and periods are strong enough to separate two independent clauses without a conjunction.

Grammarians disagree as to whether a comma splice also constitutes a run-on sentence. Some run-on sentence definitions include comma splices, but others limit the term to independent clauses that are joined without punctuation, thereby excluding comma splices.

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